Man convicted of friend’s manslaughter in Westcliff

A man who attacked and killed his friend in Westcliff has been convicted of manslaughter.

Wojciech Miecznikowski and Lucasz Kustra, both Polish nationals, were both homeless and spent their days drinking in the areas of Hamlet Court Road and Westcliff Library.

In the six weeks leading up to Tuesday September, 22, 2020, they had spent a lot of time together, staying at the same places overnight and in the day buying alcohol and begging.

On that morning they had bought alcohol and moved between Hamlet Court Road and Westcliff Library.

They had got into an argument where Kustra assaulted the 37 year-old Wojciech because he believed he’d taken the mobile phone of another man they were with.

Kustra kicked and punched Wojciech a number of times causing him to fall to the floor and then continued to assault him while he lay there.

Emergency services were called to the area and Wojciech was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he died five days later.

In total he had sustained 24 separate blows and, a post-mortem examination found he had died as a result of severe blunt force head trauma.

Kustra, 37, of no fixed address, had initially been arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent, but following Wojciech’s death, he was re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

During interview he told officers that when he drank he suffered memory loss but denied kicking Wojciech.

He was charged with murder and denied the charge.

Following a two-week trial at Basildon Crown Court he was found guilty today (Friday July 23) of manslaughter but not guilty of murder.

He is due to be sentenced at the same court on a date in the last week of August.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Scott Egerton, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Lucasz Kustra attacked his friend in a drink fuelled rage, subjecting him to a sustained attack, ultimately culminating in his death.”

“His actions lead to fatal consequences and now faces a significant custodial sentence.

“This case highlights the impact drink and drugs can have and how abusing it can end up in tragedy or violence.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]