A MAN who killed a woman, cut up her body and dumped it at sea off the coast of Scotland has been sentenced to life imprisonment in his Lithuanian homeland.

But Vitas Plytnykas could be released from prison three years earlier than the 28-year minimum jail term laid down by the High Court in Edinburgh for the murder of Jolanta Bledaite.

A court in Vilnius decided to uphold the life sentence handed down to Plytnykas at the Scottish court in 2009.

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But it has emerged that under Lithuanian law, the 46-year-old could be considered for parole after serving 25 years, rather than the 28-year minimum.

Plytnykas, and accomplice Aleksandras Skirda, murdered fellow countrywoman Ms Bledaite at her flat in Brechin.

They then cut up her body and dumped it in the sea at Arbroath.

Ruth Leslie Melville, who was the region's provost at the time of the murder, said the result was "what she had feared most".

The murder was said to have been committed as part of a wider plot to steal £1,400 from Ms Bledaite's bank account.

The men were caught after Ms Bledaite's head and hands washed up on an Arbroath beach, and were found by two children.

Plytnykas was deported in February after a request to return to his homeland.