Two Poles serving life in London for the murder of their colleague Grzegorz Pietrycki will face a new trial. After the “Superwizjer” TVN report, the English Court of Appeal annulled the verdict.
– We have been working tirelessly for three years to achieve this result. We are very grateful to TVN investigative journalists for their help in the pursuit of justice – commented Jason Lartney, one of the attorneys defending the Polish criminal convicted of the murder. – We will now focus on vigorous defense of Patryk, so that he can return to his family as soon as possible – added the patron.
An unlucky day in August
Together with Siobhan Gray, a lawyer from the renowned London law firm Libertas Chambers, they handled the convicted man’s case for free. Patryk Pachecka was accused of murdering his colleague Grzegorz Pietrycki in August 2016.
Pachecka and Pietrycki lived in London in Wood Green and worked part time. The ill-fated day – 23 August 2016 – at night, two more Poles came to their apartment: Grzegorz Szal and Grzegorz G. The former was a friend of Pachecki, they knew each other from the Tri-City.
Pachecka and Szal – importantly – had an uninteresting criminal past. Pachecka was in prison for robbery and was suspected of drug trafficking, Szal spent several years in prisons, including for robbery, fraud and drugs.
Grzegorz G. had been appearing in the Poles’ apartment for two days because he had broken up with the girl who had thrown him out of the house. As witnesses will know, he was agitated and nervous at that time, and he was also supposed to take drugs.
The evening of August 23, 2016, Szal and G. spent in the former’s apartment. At about four in the morning, they went to the apartment of the other Poles, where Grzegorz G. was staying overnight. At that time, Grzegorz Pietrycki and Patryk Pachecka were in the room. Pietrycki was asleep. Pachecka testified that he himself was sitting in front of the computer at that time. He couldn’t sleep because of the heat.
Grzegorz G. entered the room through the window, and Shal remained outside. After a while, Pachecka called Szal to his apartment, claiming that Grzegorz G. was aggressive towards Pietrycki.
What happened next determined the fate of all four.
Pietrycki recorded on the recording
Pachecki’s version shows that he left the room for a while, and when he returned, Grzegorz G. struggled with Pietrycki, and the room was in his blood. He ran out of the house and began to run away. The Shawl also rushed to flee. Security cameras recorded the escapees.
Still other Poles slept at home. They were awakened by shouts, and when they opened the door to the room where Pietrycki lived, they saw Grzegorz G. agitated and agitated. They got back together and called the police. When they made sure that Grzegorz G. had left, they looked into the room. They saw blood in the room.
Less than half a minute after Pachecka and Szal fled the house, the camera registered Grzegorz Pietrycki running in the opposite direction. He was only in shorts and a T-shirt, he was running barefoot. Moments later, according to the police, Grzegorz G. was following him, probably holding an object in his right hand. Perhaps a knife.
This is the only recording of both men that night.
“There are no traces of blood on Pachetka. He is not injured and he has no guns”
What happened next are just guesses: a few minutes after the attack to the house located several dozen meters away, the wounded Pietrycki was banging on. The frightened owner of the house did not open the door and called an ambulance. At that time, the Pole bled to death. To this day, it is not clear whether the fatal wound of the carotid artery was inflicted at home, or at the door of the Englishman, whether it was inflicted by Grzegorz G. and what happened to the murder weapon.
Grzegorz Szal and Patryk Pachecka claim that neither of them saw the knife attack on Grzegorz Pietrycki.
The shawl came home. Pachecka wandered around the area for some time, returned home, then went to the store, bought cigarettes. On the way, a police patrol stopped him and wrote down his details. – The most important thing in the police report is that there are no traces of blood on Pachetka. He’s not injured and he doesn’t have a gun, Siobhan Gray pointed out.
The next day, the police question Pachecka and Szala. They both lie – and then, during subsequent interrogations, they change versions of events several times. At first, they claimed they were not home at the time of the murder. These contradictory testimonies later determined their fate. They told the journalists of “Supervisor” that they were not telling the truth because “they did not want to sell their friend to the police”. This friend is Grzegorz G.
When they realized that they would be responsible for the murder of Pietrycki, it was too late. And this despite the fact that the English police found Grzegorz G. after a few months, he lived 135 kilometers from London, he changed his telephone number and identity. An ex-girlfriend was helping him. She was then convicted of giving false statements.
The detained Grzegorz G. refused to provide explanations. He did not confess to anything. Nevertheless, he was accused of participation in the murder, along with Szal and Pachecka. And here the question of the past of all three comes back: Szal and Pachecka had sentences on their account, and Pachecka was also wanted. Grzegorz G. officially had a clean file.
“A very important moment in this process”
Journalists of the “Supervisor” found the files of the discontinued case against Grzegorz G. At the age of nearly 20, he was given a suspended sentence for participating in a robbery. However, the court in London did not know about it. It was revealed in the report of “Supervisor”.
The testimonies of Poles living together with Pachecka and Pietrycki were also important in the case. They testified that when they were awakened by screams during the night, they were to hear someone begging, “What have I done to you?”
– It was a very important moment in this process. The word “you” [po angielsku oznaczające zarówno “ty”, jak i “wy” – przyp. red.] in the testimony of witnesses it was used in the singular, not in the plural. It means that there was only one person in the living room when the murdered man was shouting these words, states Siobhan Gray.
Nevertheless, the jury – by ten votes to two – sentenced both Poles to life imprisonment with the right to apply for early release after serving 18 years.
“I hope they all come home”
British lawyers filed an appeal against the sentence last year. An important fact for them was the fact that the “Supervisor” revealed that Grzegorz G. had been punished, and therefore the jury could have taken a false image of the third accused. As you can read in the justification of the British court’s decision sent to the editorial office of “Supervisor”, “the jury made a decision on the basis of incorrect information that could have real significance for their assessment of the case”.
Pachecka and Szal will now be arrested and awaiting a retrial. “It’s been four years since they’ve been in jail and any moment the matter will be resolved. I hope they all go home. And the worst thing is that the person who should be in their place remains free – says Magdalena Frejtak, life partner of Grzegorz Szal.
Grzegorz G., after the acquittal verdict, was lost. Supposedly he has been seen in Australia. His father claims that he has no contact with his son.
Reporters from “Supervisor” also try to find him and talk to him. People who have any information about it, please contact the authors of the report.
Main photo source: TVN supervisor