Lodger jailed for knife murders
Monday 15 November 2010
A lodger who murdered his landlady and her 11-year-old son was jailed for at least 27 years today.
Polish Krystian Krysztof Rozek, 27, launched a frenzied knife attack on Monika Wasko, 29, and her son Patryk at their home in Flint, North Wales.
Mrs Wasko, also originally from Poland, died at the scene and Patryk died at Alder Hey children's hospital in Liverpool three days after the attack on July 11.
Rozek became "angry and bitter" after finding out his wife in Poland was cheating on him and took his fury out on the Wasko family, who had shown him "nothing but kindness", Mold Crown Court was told.
Simon Mills, for the prosecution, said the attack in the early hours of July 11 was "deliberately unprovoked".
Mrs Wasko's husband Rafael, 33, was also stabbed but survived the attack, which was watched by their seven-year-old youngest son, Adrian, Mr Mills added.
The barrister said Rozek had only moved into the Wasko family's home less than a month earlier after the couple decided to rent out their spare room to make some extra money.
Soon after moving in Rozek, himself the father of two young boys, had told Mr Wasko he planned to fly home to Poland on July 11 after finding out his wife was cheating on him when her lover answered the phone at her home.
He spent July 10, the day before the murders, getting drunk with two friends and complaining to them about the collapse of his marriage.
In the early hours of the next day he returned to the home he shared with the Wasko family, at Cae Hir, Flint, and spoke briefly to Mr Wasko about his planned return to Poland later that day.
The father then went to bed, Mr Mills said, adding: "There was nothing about the conversation which caused Mr Wasko any concern.
"There was no argument or crossed words."
The barrister said Mr Wasko was just falling asleep when he heard a scream from the bedroom Patryk and Adrian shared.
"He jumped up and ran into the bedroom thinking one of the boys had fallen out of bed," Mr Mills said.
"As he entered the boys' room Mr Wasko saw the defendant coming out. The light was off and as he approached the defendant pushed him into the door frame and walked off.
"Mr Wasko then saw Patryk on the floor covered in blood. Adrian was in the other bed and he and his mother were screaming."
Mr Wasko ran back to his bedroom to get a mobile phone and call the police and an ambulance as his wife tried to blockade herself and the boys in the bedroom.
After changing his trousers, Rozek returned to the bedroom where he kicked the door off its hinges and stabbed Mrs Wasko in the heart and lung.
As he did so he was shouting: "I'm going to kill you", and "My wife has pissed me off", Mr Mills told the court.
Mr Wasko, 33, picked up a piece of broken door frame and forced Rozek down the stairs as the lodger continually swung around the large kitchen knife.
Mr Mills said: "The defendant left the house with the words 'see you', and disappeared out of view."
When police and paramedics arrived at the scene they were confronted with a scene of devastation, the barrister told the court.
"Sadly, Mrs Wasko was already dead but Patryk initially responded to emergency treatment," he added.
"Mr Wasko was saying it was his fault and asking, 'why did I let him in?'
"It was only then that he realised he had his own stab wound."
North Wales Police dispatched an armed response unit and the force helicopter to lead the manhunt for Rozek, who was found nearby about two hours later.
"When he was surrounded by officers he admitted responsibility for the attack and said he wanted the police to shoot him for what he had done," Mr Mills said.
Patryk was taken to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool where he later died of his injuries with his father at his bedside.
Mr Wasko and Adrian have since returned to Poland and the father did not attend today's hearing.
In his victim impact statement, Mr Wasko said: "I cannot begin to describe how I feel and how badly this has affected my life and also my son Adrian, who saw his brother and mother brutally murdered in front of his own eyes."
Reading the statement to court, Mr Mills added: "Mr Wasko speaks of how beautiful Monika was and how he wants to be in heaven with her and Patryk but he has to be strong for his surviving son.
"He says their lives will never be the same again and they are totally devastated.
"He speaks of how their lives are destroyed."
Speaking about Rozek, Mr Wasko said: "He needed a place to stay so we took him under our roof.
"We trusted him and I cannot believe or comprehend or will I ever understand why he has done this to my family.
"He had no right to come into our home and do what he did."
Jeffrey Samuels, QC, in mitigation for Rozek, said the defendant had spent time on mine clearance in Iraq during national service with the Polish army.
He said Rozek showed symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder which emerged from that time and "may" have contributed to what he did.
Medical reports also found Rozek was feeling "hopeless" about the collapse of his marriage and "isolated in a foreign land".
"But none of this can ever bring consolation to Mr Wasko or his surviving son Adrian," Mr Samuels added.
In his sentencing remarks, Mr Justice Griffith-Williams told Rozek: "Rafael and Monika Wasko had shown you nothing but kindness.
"But when your marriage collapsed you turned on them with fury.
"You have deprived Rafael of his loving wife and Adrian of his loving mother.
"Their losses are devastating enough but they have to live also with having been witnesses to their murders.
"It is impossible to know how young Adrian's life in particular will affected by these experiences.
"It beggars belief that you were prepared to take out your murderous anger, or bitterness at your wife, on sleeping children and that you then murdered a young boy and his mother.
"The fact that you are capable of behaving as you did proves you are a very dangerous man."
Rozek, wearing a T-shirt and jeans, nodded to the judge as he was taken down to the cells to start his 27-year jail sentence.
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