Man sentenced for manslaughter

Mick Ferris

A man who kicked and punched his friend to death over a mobile phone has been jailed for nine years.

Lucasz Kustra attacked Wojciech Miecznikowski while drunk outside Westcliff library on Tuesday September 22, 2020 because he believed he had stolen the mobile phone of another man.

The pair, who were both homeless, had struck up a friendship over the previous six weeks, staying at the same places overnight and in the day buying alcohol and begging.

On the morning of the 22nd they had bought alcohol and moved between Hamlet Court Road and the library.

They had got into an argument and Kustra proceeded to kick and punch Wojciech, causing him to fall to the floor where he continued to assault him.

Thirty-seven year-old Wojciech was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he died three days later.

A post-mortem examination found he had sustained 24 separate blows and he had died as a result of severe blunt force trauma to the head.

Kustra, 37, of no fixed address, was initially arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent but after Wojciech died he was re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

During interview, he admitted having spent the days before the assault drinking and told officers that he suffered memory loss when he did so.

He denied kicking Wojciech.

Following a two-week trial at Basildon Crown Court he was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday July 23.

At the same court today Wednesday August 25, he was jailed for nine years.

Detective Chief Inspector Scott Egerton, who led the investigation, said: “Lucasz Kustra subjected Wojciech Miecznikowski to a brutal and sustained attack in a drink-fuelled rage.

“Kustra was meant to be Wojceich’s friend but, ultimately, he caused his death.

“That is something he has to live with for the rest of his life.

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

Mick Ferris

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