Police hunt gang who beat Polish man to death in Derby

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The Independent Online

A 29-year-old man was beaten to death in a terraced street in Derby by five balaclava-wearing men armed with "baseball bats or sticks". The Polish victim, named by police as Serioza Lawskoski, was left unconscious by the beating early on Saturday evening. Paramedics fought to save him at the scene but he was pronounced dead at hospital shortly afterwards.

The attack took place at 7.40pm on the quiet street. Police said that Mr Lawskoski lived less than a mile from the scene. A 25-year-old man from Derby was arrested yesterday afternoon on suspicion of murder.

Witnesses to the attack said that the five males were dressed in black with only their eyes and hands visible.

Annie McManamon, 80, said the assailants were walking along the street when they attacked the victim. Her husband Jerry, 77, said other residents, including a nurse, attempted to revive the victim before paramedics arrived.

Mrs McManamon, who watched the attack unfold from an upstairs window of her house, said: "I just happened to be at the window at the time and I noticed them because their faces were covered. They were completely covered in black apart from their eyes and hands.

"They looked around and all of a sudden started hitting him. They hit him a couple of times and he fell on the floor. Then they seemed to kick him.

"It happened so quickly. They ran around a corner and two people who seemed to know the victim appeared and started screaming: 'He's dead, he's dead.' Then they ran after the attackers."

Mr McManamon, who saw the aftermath, said: "He was lying on the pavement with a crowd around him and no a movement from him. There was a nurse from the street trying to revive him. I think she was pumping his chest."

Police said the attackers were wearing dark clothing and balaclavas and armed with bats or sticks.

Yesterday forensic officers were examining the scene on Cummings Street in Derby. A police spokeswoman said that extra uniformed officers would be patrolling the area "for the foreseeable future".

She said the motive was unknown but the fact that the attackers were wearing masks suggests it was planned.

The police said in a statement: "At 7.40pm on Saturday 23 April, Derby Police responded to a report of a fight between several men on Cummings Street at its junction with Lower Dale Road, Derby. "On arrival, a 29-year-old man was found unconscious in the street, having sustained injuries to his head.

He was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to the Royal Derby Hospital where he was pronounced dead. "He had been attacked by a group of about five masked men who were wearing dark clothing, heavy jackets and balaclavas. They were armed with baseball bats or sticks. A murder investigation has begun."

Detective Superintendent Andy Stokes, leading the investigation, added: "This is a tragic incident and I'd like to offer my condolences to the victim's family and friends." Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time to contact them.