Monday, August 13, 2012

Dad stabbed kids 29 times before killing their mother (United Kingdom)

The killer dad is DAMIAN RZESZOWSKI.

Father 'stabbed his children 29 times before killing wife and three others because his marriage was falling apart'

Damian Rzeszowski killed wife, his two children, his wife's father, his wife's friend and her daughter in brutal knife attack

Stabbed father-in-law up to nine times, son 13 times and daughter 16 times

Stabbed wife inside house before chasing her outside and stabbing her again in front of horrified neighbours

Pleaded guilty to manslaughter through diminished responsibility in April but pleas rejected by Crown

Crown argues Rzeszowski was of sound mind when he carried out killings

Marital problems at heart of killings; Mrs Rzeszowska admitted two-month affair and threatened to commit suicide

Rzeszowski had one-night stand, took overdose of pills and slept with prostitute while on family holiday in Poland

Rzeszowski remanded in Broadmoor Hospital since arrest

By Amy Oliver

PUBLISHED: 08:33 EST, 13 August 2012 | UPDATED: 10:37 EST, 13 August 2012

A father stabbed six people including his wife and two young children more than 40 times because he could not face the break-up of his marriage, a court heard today.

Damian Rzeszowski stabbed two-year-old son Kacper a total of 13 times and his daughter, Kinga, five, 16 times, the court heard.

Before the children were attacked at the family home in St Helier, Jersey, Rzeszowski had set upon his father-in-law Marek Garstka, 56, stabbing him a total of nine times with such force that his spinal cord was severed and a knife lodged in his body.

Solicitor General Howard Sharp, for the prosecution said Kacper, who had probably been playing with a toy car at the time, was 'stabbed a on two separate occasions with two different kitchen knives'.

His older sister ended up on the floor of the lounge, not far from her brother.

Mr Sharp added that blood patterns around Mr Garstka's body suggested he had also been attacked on two separate occasions with two different knives.

Kinga's friend, Julia De La Haye, was also stabbed 16 times, suffering seven wounds to her chest and a further nine to her back in the course of two different attacks.

Mr Sharp said Rzeszowski then attacked his wife, Izabela in the two-bedroom flat's lounge or hallway, but she was able to move and run through the flat and out into a courtyard.

She then climbed in through the bathroom window and made a 'desperate attempt' to call the police using her father's mobile phone.

'The number she dialled was 997, which is the Polish emergency services' number,' Mr Sharp said.

Her friend, Marta De La Haye, also tried to exit the flat, and although the prosecution could not say exactly where she was attacked, her DNA was found on the front door.

'You might think she was unable to leave immediately or chose not to,' Mr Sharp told the judge and the jurats.

'She staggered out into the street and collapsed in front of some scaffolding outside the flat next door.'

Mrs Rzeszowska also made it out into the street but was chased by her husband and stabbed again in full view of local residents.

Neighbours tried to intervene and Rzeszowski started stabbing himself as he went back inside the flat.

He slumped to the ground with a collapsed lung near where he had attacked his father-in-law.

Mr Sharp described Rzeszowski, who worked as a builder before his arrest, as a 'pressure cooker who lacks a safety valve'.

'He has difficulties controlling his emotions and communicating his frustrations and worries,' the Solicitor General said.

'He has a history of violence and has been involved in somewhere between five to 10 fights since he moved to Jersey in 2005.

'We will invite you to conclude that the defendant has violence in his character.'

On the day the killings took place Rzeszowski had drunk 180ml of whisky and Mr Sharp said he had described himself as a 'happy drunk' at times and a 'violent drunk' on others.

But Mr Sharp said witnesses who knew the defendant had also described him as a 'hard-working man' and a 'loving father who provided for his family'.

'This is the case of a man who cannot face the prospect of marriage failure and decides that if the family cannot go on as it is, it must not go on at all,' he added.

Rzeszowski pleaded guilty to manslaughter through diminished responsibility in April, but the manslaughter pleas were not accepted by the Crown, which argues the defendant was not suffering an 'abnormality of the mind' when the attacks took place.

The Royal Court in St Helier heard that Rzeszowski’s rampage took place against a backdrop of increasing marital difficulties between himself and his wife.

Solicitor General Howard Sharp, for the prosecution, told the presiding judge Sir Michael Birt and two jurats - similar to magistrates in mainland UK - who are judging the case: 'Until around June 2011 the defendant’s day-to-day behaviour was unremarkable, but things changed in June and July. 'What was the cause of that change? The answer is to be found in the state of the defendant’s marriage. Extended family: Mrs Rzeszowska's fatjer Marek Garstka, 56, was Rzeszowski's first victim and was stabbed a total of nine times 'It had been in difficulties before the incident happened, but by this time it was under great strain.'

Mr Sharp explained that during this period Mrs Rzeszowska admitted to her husband that she had been having a two-month affair with another man and she threatened to commit suicide.

After learning of his wife’s infidelity, Rzeszowski started going out drinking and had a one-night stand, before taking an overdose of pills on July 19.

In an attempt to save their marriage, the couple decided to travel to Poland to visit their families.

'However, the problems remained and the defendant visited a prostitute while he was in Poland,' Mr Sharp said.

The knife attack took place in the couple’s home in St Helier, on the day they returned from their holiday.

'The state of their marriage was a determining factor in the defendant’s behaviour in June and July last year,' Mr Sharp said.

Rzeszowski, who it can now be reported has been remanded in Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire since his arrest, listened with his head bowed and eyes closed as he heard Mr Sharp describe the killings.

Wearing a light blue T-shirt, he appeared to have gained weight compared with pictures taken before the incident took place.

Mr Sharp told the court that after the family returned from their holiday in Poland on the morning of August 14, Mrs Rzeszowska and her father left the flat to go and fetch Mrs De La Haye and her daughter so they could all have a barbecue together.

When they returned, they found that Rzeszowski had gone out and left the children by themselves, although Mr Sharp said the defendant could not recall why he left or how long he was away for.

'When he got back, Marta and her daughter had arrived,' Mr Sharp said.

'His wife remonstrated with him about leaving two young children on their own, and from this point on he says he had an apparent black-out.'

Mr Sharp said the argument 'probably' happened at 1pm or shortly thereafter and the killings started at around 2.45pm.

'We know for sure that 999 calls made at 2.58pm and 3pm when several residents saw the defendant on the street with a knife, which happened at the very end (of the attack),' he said.

This lapse in time, Mr Sharp said, showed that the attacks had not been the product of a momentary loss of control.

He added: 'It's one thing for the defendant to say he lost his temper in the heat of the moment, it is quite another to say he had an hour and three-quarters to think about it.'

The case continues.