A 22-year-old man has been convicted of murdering his housemate in Ellesmere Port
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Update - Arkadiusz Kaczmarek has today (Friday 30th August) been jailed for life and has to serve a minimum of 19 years in prison. You can read more on our sentencing article.
Arkadiusz Kaczmarek denied stabbing 47-year-old Slawomir Kulesza to death in the home they shared in Blakemere Court.
Kaczmarek claimed that he was so drunk on the night that dad-of-two Slawomir was killed that he has no memory of what took place.
However, a jury found Kaczmarek guilty of murder on Thursday 29 October following a nine-day trial at Chester Crown Court.
He was also convicted of possession of a knife in a public place.
Kaczmarek has been remanded in custody and is set to return to the court to be sentenced on Friday 30 October.
Detective Inspector Kate Tomlinson, who led the investigation on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team, said: “The strength of the evidence gathered by my team of officers as part of this case left the jury with no doubt that Arkadiusz Kaczmarek was guilty of the murdering his housemate.
“He subjected Slawomir to a horrific degree of violence, stabbing him with a kitchen knife multiple times, including through the side of his head into his brain and through his heart.
“It was a vicious and sustained assault and Kaczmarek then left Slawomir dead or dying on their kitchen floor as he went out to dispose of the knife.
“He took Slawomir’s phone with him, leaving the victim with no way of calling for help.
“CCTV footage captured Kaczmarek walking around with the knife in his hands.
“He disposed of it in an alleyway in the Worcester Walk area of Ellesmere Port before officers in a patrol car spotted Kaczmarek walking on Westminster Bridge with blood on his clothes.
“DNA analysis subsequently proved that blood on Kaczmarek’s clothes and on the kitchen knife belonged to Slawomir.
“Traces of Kaczmarek’s DNA were also found on the knife.”
Both of Polish descent, Kaczmarek and Slawomir first met in February when the former moved into the two-storey mid terrace house in Blakemere Court.
On the night of the killing, Friday 1 May, they had gone to a convenience store together and bought a bottle of vodka.
A neighbour was woken up by loud noises at their address at about 1am.
At around 1.05am a CCTV camera captured Kaczmarek walking along Westminster Road carrying the kitchen knife.
After disposing of it at the bottom of a metal fence he climbed over, he went to sleep in the front garden of a house in Worcester Walk.
A passer-by saw him and informed the homeowner.
The pair confronted Kaczmarek, who fled the area on foot before being stopped by the two officers in the police car at around 3am.
They tried to question Kaczmarek about blood on his clothing but discovered that he spoke very little English.
Subsequently communicating with him via an online translation service, the officers established where he lived and took him home.
When they arrived Kaczmarek told them that he lived there with a friend who was asleep in the house.
The officers went inside to check that Kaczmarek and his friend were safe.
They also wanted to see Kaczmarek’s ID.
After searching the house and finding Slawomir lying on his back in a pool of blood, they started giving him CPR and called for an ambulance.
Paramedics later took over the CPR but, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, Slawomir was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 3.30am.
Kaczmarek was arrested at the house and a homicide investigation was launched.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Slawomir died of multiple stab wounds.
The knife used to inflict the injuries was found by a member of the public on Sunday 3 May.
Aware of a police presence in the area, she directed an officer to the knife.
Kaczmarek refused to answer any questions in custody.
DI Tomlinson added: “Kaczmarek’s actions on the night of Friday 1 May were completely out of character.
“This was his first offence and it was committed after he had drunk an excessive amount of alcohol.
“Kaczmarek has always claimed that he was so drunk that he cannot remember what happened, so we may never know what led to him stabbing his housemate several times that night.
“Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and we hope that this case deters others from using knives and committing similar offences.”
Chief Inspector Catherine Pritchard, of Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “The details of the brutal killing of Slawomir Kulesza may shock the local community.
“I would like to thank the members of the public who have helped to secure the murder conviction and bring Kaczmarek to justice.
“I would also like to thank the officers that have been involved in this case for all their hard work.
“Our Major Investigation Team have worked tirelessly in gathering vital evidence and piecing together the case.
“This included speaking to witnesses, collecting and viewing CCTV footage and carrying out forensic enquiries.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “As this case shows, the consequences of getting heavily drunk and using a knife as a weapon can be devastating for everyone involved.
“This horrendous crime was committed by a previously law abiding citizen.
“My condolences go to the victim’s family. I hope that this conviction, and the fact that his killer will now be made to face the consequences of his appalling actions, provides them with some comfort.”