PPS statement following sentencing in Ludmila Poletelova murder case

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A woman who murdered a former work colleague in Limavady in 2021 was today sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

Svetlana Svedova (47) pleaded guilty to the murder of 61-year-old Ludmila Poletelova who she brutally killed in her home in Limavady in April 2021.

The two women, who were both originally from Latvia, had previously worked together in a local wine bar. 

PPS Senior Public Prosecutor Kirsten McKevitt said: “By all accounts from friends, neighbours and colleagues, Ludmila Poletelova, a mother of two adult sons, was a quiet and hard-working woman.

“The victim’s body was discovered by a friend after she failed to turn up for a shift at the wine bar where she worked. Svedova had visited Ludmila’s flat on the day of the murder and when there violently attacked her. A post-mortem examination showed Ludmila had died from severe head injuries consistent with being struck repeatedly with a claw hammer.

“After killing Ludmila, Svedova took money from the victim’s flat, and she was able to pay off a substantial sum in rent arrears the morning after the murder despite having no obvious source of funds. 

“The prosecution team in the PPS’s Serious Crime Unit worked closely with the PSNI to create a compelling prosecution case, including phone records, CCTV, witness statements and forensic evidence, that resulted in the guilty plea to murder.

“This was a brutal attack on a defenceless woman who was entitled to feel safe in her own home. While nothing can bring Ludmila back, we hope the conclusion of these proceedings brings some measure of comfort to her family and friends.”