Cambridgeshire

Peterborough suitcase torso: Wrong 'suspect' photo issued by police

Vytautas Jokubauskas Image copyright Tiesa.com
Image caption A photograph of Vytautas Jokubauskas, who says he has never left Lithuania, was issued by police investigating a murder in Peterborough

A man whose picture was wrongly sent out by police investigating a torso found in a suitcase, said the experience had been "nerve-breaking".

The body of a woman was found in a Peterborough house on Friday.

Cambridgeshire Police looking for suspect Vytautas Jokubauskas, 57, of Peterborough, released an image of Vytautas Jokubauskas, 50, a Lithuanian who says he has never been to the UK.

The force apologised and said officers would contact him in person.

The photograph of Mr Jokubauskas, a wood machinist from Mazeikiai, a small town in western Lithuania, was released on Saturday.

Later that day another was issued, looking very different to the first, which police said was "more recent".

'Accused of murder'

On Sunday a man was arrested in Clipston Walk in Peterborough, on suspicion of murder.

The following day police asked the media not to use either image, telling them they were aware the first photograph was not the man they were looking for.

However, it had already been widely used and seen in the UK and Lithuania.

Image copyright Vytautas Jokubauskas
Image caption Mr Jokubauskas had to show Lithuanian police his ID

Mr Jokubauskas first knew about the error when friends from London called him at the weekend.

"They told me I am being accused of murder in the UK," he said.

"They said, 'Vytautas, what the hell have you done?' - and I've not even been to England."

Mr Jokubauskas said he went to the local police who checked his passport and sent his fingerprints to Cambridgeshire Police.

The only similarity between himself and the suspected murderer was the shared name, he said.

'Very saddened'

Mr Jokubauskas said some newspapers said police believed he might be in Ireland. In the photograph he was wearing a T-shirt with the word "Dublin" on the front.

"I bought it in a second-hand market and I only wear it at home.

"I was very saddened to read what people wrote [on social media]. It was nasty and they don't even know me."

Image copyright Vytautas Jokubauskas
Image caption Police have offered their apologies to Mr Jokubauskas for the erroneous photograph

Mr Jokubauskas said his boss had been understanding, but he has had to take two weeks off work and is on medication.

"Nobody should experience this," he said.

Cambridgeshire Police said the photograph was found "through open source monitoring of social media and it was confirmed by his [Vytautas Jokubauskas, of Peterborough's] employers that this was a true likeness of the man we were looking to trace".

"At the time the photograph was issued there were serious concerns for public safety and this was the overriding priority for police," Det Supt Paul Fullwood said.

"We sincerely apologise to Mr Jokubauskas for any distress caused and officers will be contacting him to offer this in person."

Mr Jokubauskas said he had been discussing the error with lawyers but was not sure whether he would take his complaint further.

"I'm an ordinary person and I don't think I'll achieve anything."

The body of mother-of-one Ramute Butkiene, 42, was found with no arms, legs or head at the house in Mayor's Walk, Peterborough, on Friday.

A 57-year-old man has been charged with murder. He will appear before Huntingdon Magistrates' Court later.