Margate 'potato masher attacker' Mariusz Dobkowski who befriended elderly man before beating him almost to death is jailed for life

Police said 75-year-old Ken Seymour was 'incredibly fortunate not to have been killed by someone almost 50 years his junior'

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The Independent Online

A young man who befriended an elderly gentleman at a bus stop before following him home and beating him with a potato masher and a poker has been sentenced to life in jail.

Mariusz Dobkowski, 30, will serve a minimum prison term of 12 years following what police described as a “brutal”, “vicious” and “sustained” beating of 75-year-old Ken Seymour in Margate, Kent.

Maidstone Crown Court heard how Mr Seymour had met up with friends in the centre of Margate and was waiting to catch the bus home when CCTV showed he was approached by a man – later identified as Dobkowski.

The pair continued to talk on the journey, and got off the bus together in the coastal Cliftonville area of the town where Mr Seymour lived, police said.

Dobkowski then followed Mr Seymour to his home, where he repeatedly beat him with a potato masher and a poker.

Police said that Mr Seymour was only discovered several hours after the attack, at around 8.45pm, when Mr Seymour’s neighbours heard him shouting for help. He was found lying on his back covered in blood, surrounded by a number of his broken possessions.

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Ken Seymour, pictured in hospital after the attack

The 75-year-old spent a month in hospital after receiving 40 stitches to his face. He suffered fractures to his skull and back, and has no recollection of the attack itself.

Dobkowski, who lived in Eaton Road in Margate, fled to Belgium after the attack but was tracked down following a media appeal, and a European arrest warrant saw him brought back to the UK.

He was convicted of attempted murder on Monday 2 February, and sentenced on Tuesday.

Senior investigating officer Inspector Richard Vickery, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said it was “incredibly fortunate” Mr Seymour had not been killed.

“Instead of facing up to the consequences of his actions, Mariusz Dobkowski ran away to Belgium and tried to carry on with his life while his victim lay in a hospital bed recovering from a number of serious injuries,” Inspector Vickery said.

“However, thanks to the tireless work of officers who were assisted by members of the local and Eastern European communities, Dobkowski was unable to hide for long.

“Let me assure you that those who choose to commit violent and cowardly acts such as this will be relentlessly pursued and brought to justice.”