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Man Jailed in Mounts Bay Dinghy Row

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:01am 1st November 2011 (Updated 1:20pm 2nd November 2011)

The family of a Penzance grandad who lost his life in a row in Mount's Bay are angry over his killer's sentence.

Jesse Tracey died after falling overboard during a fight on a dinghy in Mounts Bay.

When his body was brought ashore it had a stab wound in the arm.

Forty-one year old Gintaras Butkus has been jailed for six years, after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

A judge has recommended he is deported after his sentence.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC told the court that volunteer coastguard David Pryor watched the incident through high powered binoculars from the Chy an Dour coastguard station.

He saw the men grappling and punching, Butkus standing and holding an oar above his head and Mr Tracey go over the stern of the dinghy.

Butkus appeared to make no effort to save him as he hung onto the side of the dinghy for seven or eight minutes before slipping beneath the water.

The victim's family says the sentence does not take into account the devastation the family feels.

In a statement, Devon and Cornwall Police said, "This has been an unusual investigation as this was the first murder enquiry involving volunteers from the National Coast Watch Institution using powerful binoculars to witness an incident at sea.

"We would particularly like to thank them for their assistance and co-operation throughout the investigation, as well as the RNLI lifeboats crews who also gave evidence. 
 
"The victim Mr Tracey was violently assaulted and left to drown.
 
"Although charged with murder the defendant has pleaded guilty to Mr Tracey’s manslaughter.
 
"Our condolences go out to the family and we hope the conviction of the defendant will go some way to appeasing the terrible loss they all feel as a result of Mr Tracey’s tragic death".
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