Man took “no part” in murder, court hears

A man who denied being involved in the death of a fellow countryman dismisses allegation that he is a “cold, calculating murderer”.

A BAKERY worker accused of bludgeoning to death a fellow Pole at his home in Stevenage has told a jury he took no part in the assault and tried to prevent it.

The prosecution allege the victim, 26-year-old Jaroslaw Kowalski, was struck about the head with a heavy dumbbell bar leaving his rented room “like a blood bath”.

Prosecutor Michael Speak said the attack was a joint enterprise by two Polish men, with the motive remaining unclear.

Mr Speak said: “The victim’s room mate found his friend in a terrible state. It was quite apparent his head had been beaten to a pulp. He was covered in blood and the walls, fridge and wardrobe were spattered with blood. It was like a blood bath, like a horror scene.”

He said the victim died shortly after being found in the room in Vardon Road on July 29 last year.

On trial at Luton Crown Court are Pawal Pilipow, 25 of Rye Close, Stevenage and Marcin Skibicki, 29, of Bute Street, Luton. They both plead not guilty to murder.

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This week Pilipow went into the witness box, and through an interpreter told the jury he played no part in the killing laying the blame on Skibicki.

He told the court on Tuesday he witnessed a sustained assault with fists and feet on Mr Kowalski, who he worked with at the Allied bakery in Stevenage, and jumped in to break it up.

He thought he had brought it to a close by offering to buy Skibicki some beer, and they left the house to go to a convenience store and he bought some cans.

He said before they left the victim had been covered in blood and he had sat him up against a bed.

“I got his blood on me. He had very swollen eyes, an ear was swollen and nearly black in colour and a very swollen lip and was bleeding from all over his face.

“At the shop Marcin said he wanted to go back to Vardon Road. I did not want to go back but I was worried and did not want to leave them on their own, so I went with him.

“We were there about five minutes when Marcin went for him again. I told him to stop but he was not listening. He was very aggressive and kicking him all over his body.

“Then he spilt beer over his head and urinated on him. I kept asking him to stop. Then he found a metal bar and tried to hit him with it. I jumped in between them. I threw some weights out of the way. I did not see him hit him with the bar.

“I did not hit or kick him at any time. I did not have any grudge against him.”

He said they left the property again, and went their separate ways but he believed Skibicki returned without him.

Pilipow said he was shocked when he learned the following morning that Mr Kowalski had died. He contacted Skibicki who said they had to get away, and that he would be implemented in the offence because he had been there as well.

The court has heard that Pilipow served time in jail in Poland for the attempted murder of a young boy when he was a teenager. He is said to have stabbed him when he was drunk. Pilipow claimed he was acting in self defence.

Lewis Power, defending Skibicki, challenged Pilipow’s account saying: “You took your shirt off in that room like some Neanderthal to give that man a really good going over with a metal bar because that is the sort of man you are. You are a cold, calculating murderer.”

Pilipow replied: “No I am not.”

The case continues.

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