The Court of Appeal in Białystok sentenced a 45-year-old man to 16 years in prison for mistreating his concubine and her murder. Thus, he upheld the judgment of the court of first instance. The 45-year-old only called the police a few days after the crime and reported that the body of the 30-year-old was lying in his apartment. The decision is final.
The body of a 30-year-old found in early May 2021 in an apartment in the Nowe Miasto housing estate in Białystok. This apartment belongs to the defendant and he notified the authorities. However, he did it – as the investigators pointed out – only a few days after the woman’s death. The court accepted that the murder took place on April 27.
The woman was the life partner of the 45-year-old and had been living with him since 2019. She had severe chest injuries, indicating the use of physical force.
Allegations of abuse and murder. There were allegedly quarrels in the couple’s apartment
The 45-year-old was arrested and charged with physical and mental abuse of his concubine and her murder.
Determining the relationship between the couple during their several-year relationship, the court of first instance heard inter alia a large group of neighbors. Everyone talked about the brawls they heard through the walls, loud music at alcohol parties and calling the police, who were usually not allowed inside.
There was also talk about the sounds of impacts (on the walls, the floor) and the man’s screams – but some also heard the woman’s cries for help – and that the 30-year-old was seen in front of the block or on the stairs after she was forcibly thrown out of the apartment.
The District Court in Białystok (i.e. the court of first instance) assumed that the woman was a victim of domestic violence, and by brutally beating and mistreating her partner, the perpetrator acted with not a direct intention, but a possible murder, i.e. he somehow anticipated and accepted that his actions will lead to death.
Court of first instance: 16 years of imprisonment, PLN 300,000 in compensation
The court assessed that the brutal beating (the experts appointed in the case said that such injuries occur in traffic accidents) occurred under the influence of impulse, anger or frustration.
He sentenced the accused to a total sentence of 16 years in prison, he also awarded 300,000 zlotys. PLN compensation for the minor son of the deceased and PLN 50,000. PLN to her mother. The mother was also awarded over PLN 20.5 thousand. PLN compensation – it was about for funeral and burial expenses.
appeals. The prosecution wanted an increase in the sentence, the defense wanted a change in the legal classification
The judgment was appealed by all parties. The prosecutor’s office wanted 25 years in prison and the court’s acceptance that the perpetrator acted with the direct intention of murder. A similar penalty was also requested by the attorneys of the auxiliary prosecutors – relatives of the deceased.
The defense, however, disagreed with the legal classification. In her appeal, she applied for a change from homicide to fatal beating and for a reduction in the amount of compensation awarded to the son of the deceased.
The court: foresaw the possibility of a fatal outcome and agreed to it
The court of appeal found the amount of the prison sentence to be appropriate, and agreed with the assessment that the perpetrator acted with the intention of possible murder. Justifying the verdict, Judge Jerzy Szczurewski pointed out that the event – at least in the initial phase – was no different from previous rows, because it started with jerking and insults. Then the perpetrator used force.
– He foresaw the possibility of a fatal outcome and agreed to it – added the judge, also pointing to the disproportion in weight and height between the man and his concubine.
The court of appeal only changed the amount of compensation awarded to the son of the victim, reducing it from PLN 300,000 to PLN 300,000. PLN up to PLN 100 thousand zloty. The judge described the original amount as “taken from heaven”.
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