Vladica Rajkovic has been found guilty of raping and murdering a 3-year- old child, and of murdering a woman, and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The child, Andjelina Stefanovic, was abducted from a birthday party in the village of Vratarnica, near Zajecar in eastern Serbia in July 2016, and later raped and murdered.

The second victim, 47-year-old Dragan Stankovic, was murdered several years earlier.

At the start of the trial, Rajkovic admitted to being “responsible” for the child’ death – but did not admit to murdering and raping her.

In their closing arguments, the prosecution sought the maximum penalty – 40 years for murdering and 15 more for raping the child, and 10 more for murdering Stankovic.

Lawyer Maja Atanaskovic, who represented the Stefanovic family, asked the court to send the defendant to jail for 40 and 20 years, while Rajkovic’s defense attorney urged a lower sentence because of his client’s diminished criminal accountability, as he was “under the influence of alcohol” while committing the crime.

Under Serbia’s law, a court can only pass a single unified maximum 40 year sentence.