Falkirk charity worker killed father-of-one by stabbing him through the heart

A door-to-door charity worker stabbed and killed a colleague he had just been enjoying a friendly drink with earlier in the evening.

Zilvanas Popovas (38) got into a heated row with 22-year-old Tomas Svezas and, after a short violent struggle, he stabbed the younger man twice, with one of the blows going straight through his heart.

When emergency services staff arrived at the scene in 105 Westfield Street, Falkirk, they found Mr Svezas lying face down in the hallway in a pool of blood.

Appearing at the High Court in Glasgow earlier today, Popovas – originally charged with murder – pled guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide under provocation, which he committed on June 21.

Procurator fiscal depute Derick Nelson told the court both men and three others, who all worked for a charity delivering leaflets and collecting clothing, each had a room in the house in Westfield Street.

Mr Nelson added: “The two men knew each other and there does not appear to have been any animosity between them prior to the night in question.”

The court heard initially everything was friendly and Popovas and Mr Svezas were drinking together.

At 10.48pm, however, a Facebook live stream was posted on a Lithuanian page from Mr Svezas’s Facebook account showing him, Popovas and another man, Vaidotas Loveikis, dancing together.

Minutes later Popovas, who came to the UK in 2016, and Mr Svezas began arguing.

Mr Svezas then hit Popovas over the head with a mug which smashed, leaving him with a gash to his head.

Popovas then grabbed a knife, which was lying nearby, and stabbed Mr Svezas twice.

The fatal wound went straight though his heart.

At 11.06pm Mr Loveikis made a 999 call and, speaking in Lithuanian, said: “Knife stuck in him.”

Police and paramedics attended at Westfield Street and found Mr Svezas’ body.

Popovas was treated at Forth Valley Royal hospital and had sutures put in his head wound.

Mr Nelson said: “The whole altercation appears to have been brief. The basis of the plea accepted is there was a momentary loss of control due to the provocation offered by Mr Svezas.”

Judge Lord Woolman deferred sentence until January for background reports and remanded Popovas in custody.

Defence QC Donald Findlay will give his plea in mitigation then.