A Polish man who came to Ireland to find a better life instead met a tragic death, his brother said after his killer was found guilty of murder.
Krzystof Grzegorski, aged 22, was yesterday found guilty of murdering fellow Pole Bogdan Michalkiewicz, aged 41, at the victim’s home in Westside Apartments, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, on May 13, 2013. Grzegorski had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but the prosecution rejected the plea.
The jury came to a unanimous decision after a little over five hours.
Bogdan’s brother Tomasz, who has sat through every day of the three-week trial, wrote a victim impact statement that was read to the court by Garda Siobhan McGowan.
In it, he said: “My only family left is my sister and mother back in Poland. My only family in Ireland was Bogdan, who came here with me in 2005 to look for a better life than we could get in Poland, but instead of that he met a tragic death.”
He said his mother will never recover. “She is 65 years and living in Poland. She suffers from deep depression since Bogdan was killed. My mother went into shock when Bogdan died and lost the mobility in her legs.”
Tomasz also spoke of the day he found his brother’s battered body, lying in a pool of blood on the floor of his apartment. “It was the worst view I could have expected to see,” he said. “I wouldn’t wish anybody to see what I saw on that day.”
He said he thinks about what happened to Bogdan every day and has not had a proper night’s sleep in three years. “I won’t go to bed without checking a couple of times that the doors are closed. I used to trust people, now I don’t trust anybody. I feel this strong pain whenever I think about it and blame myself that I should have done more to help him.”
Judge Justice Patrick McCarthy sentenced Grzegorski to the mandatory term of life imprisonment before prison officers led the convicted man from court. The sentence was backdated to May 26, 2014, when Grzegorski was first taken into custody.
The trial heard Bogdan suffered 46 wounds to the head and face, including stab wounds and injuries that pathologist Alison Armour said were consistent with punching, kicking, or striking with a blunt object.
Grzegorski cut Bogdan’s throat and stabbed him another 17 times in the abdomen. He stamped on his chest with enough force to leave the imprint of his shoe.
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