Jail for men who committed a “brutal” murder in Stevenage

Minimum jail sentences have been handed down to men who brutally attacked a countryman.

TWO men who “brutally” murdered 26-year-old Jaroslaw Kowalski in Stevenage were found guilty and sentenced today (Thursday) at St Albans Crown Court.

Pawel Pilipow, 25, of Rye Close, Stevenage and Marcin Skibicki, 23, of Bute Street in Luton, were given life sentences.

Pilipow must serve a minimum term of 17 years and Skibicki received a minimum term of 16 and a half years.

Mr Kowalski had been living in Stevenage for just under a year, having come from south-west Poland. He was found with serious injuries at a property in Vardon Road on the afternoon of July 29, 2009 and was taken to hospital, but he later died.

Detective inspector Sharn Basra, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit, said: “This was a horrific and brutal attack during which Pawel Pilipow and Marcin Skibicki humiliated and left their one-time friend fighting for his life.

“Jaroslaw Kowalski was found by his room mate several hours later, by which time it was too late. He died of his injuries shortly after being found. Although the motive for the murder was never known, the attack was certainly fuelled by alcohol.

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“Mr Kowalski came to England with dreams of a better life for himself and so he could provide for his family back home. These dreams were shattered and his family have had a loved one taken from them.

“They will never see their son/brother again, but what they have seen today is justice and the two men responsible for this vicious crime have rightly been convicted of his murder.”