Brixton: ‘Advanced’ DNA technique credited with catching men who murdered homeless man in brutal attack

Convicted: Arturas Ptickinas and Ernestas Aleksandrovas (Met Police)
Convicted: Arturas Ptickinas and Ernestas Aleksandrovas (Met Police)

Police have credited an advanced DNA technique with catching two killers who murdered a homeless man in a brutal south London attack.

The body of Mauricio ‘Maurice’ Nascimento, aged 44, was found in Rush Common, Brixton Hill, on July 12, 2021 after a vicious attack, including a fractured skull and neck, broken nose and broken ribs.

On Friday, Arturas Ptickinas and Ernestas Aleksandrovas, both 29 and of Norwood High Street, were convicted at Kingston Crown Court of Mr Nascimento’s murder. Aleksandrovas was also convicted of perverting the course of justice.

The court heard how there were no immediate leads for the fatal attack.

But forensic tests carried out on a belt found at the scene and Maurice’s unbuttoned shirt uncovered a full DNA match to Pticknas.

A belt with blood was tested at the scene (Met Police)
A belt with blood was tested at the scene (Met Police)

The chances of it coming from anyone else were rated as one in a billion - the highest match on the scientific scale.

Ptickinas’ DNA was also found on Maurice’s wrists, suggesting he had been involved in dragging his body into bushes.

Tests also showed the presence of DNA on other parts of Maurice’s body, including his face and on his neck, where he had been hit by his attackers.

However, the standard DNA test wasn’t sensitive enough to allow for comparisons of who the DNA belonged to.

An advanced test was then carried out - revealing the DNA of Aleksandrovas.

Forensic tests on the fingers and palm of Mr Nascimento’s right hand was found to match Mr Aleksnadrovas’s DNA. Police said the chances of it not being his has also been calculated as one in a billion.

Arturas Ptickinas (Met Police)
Arturas Ptickinas (Met Police)

CCTV footage also tracked the pair leaving their home and heading towards Rush Common, where the murder is believed to have been carried out.

Aleksandrovas’s mobile phone was also used at 3.16am on the night of the murder, which was found to have connected to a telephone mast next to Rush Common.

Met Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley, who led the case, said: “This case demonstrated how the Met combines forensic expertise with the investigative skills of our homicide detectives to solve murders.

“We will never know exactly what happened in the moments before Maurice Nascimento’s death, but, we do know that the attack on him was brutal, merciless and completely unjustified.

“I’m glad the two defendants have now been found guilty and will be off the streets of London for a long time."