Sunday, October 26, 2008

25 years behind bars for death of football fan

A court of appeal in Bialystok, north-east Poland, has convicted a 20-year old man with the murder of a football fan.

Adrian Grygorczuk was put on trial for assisting the murder of a fan of one of Bialystok’s football clubs. It is the second time Grygorczuk has been on trial for the same offence. The first sentence was 15 years, but the court of first instance overuled the decision, suggesting a longer jail sentence.

In handing out the verdict, the Bialystok court said that even though 25 years is the longest possible sentence for such a crime, it was justified due to the demoralised character of Grygorczuk.

“It is a banishment from society, although the role of the court is to protect society from such wrongdoers,” judge Andrzej Czapka said after the court hearing. He added that the victim had no chance of survival after he was attacked by four football hooligans.

Judge Czapka noted that Grygorczuk already had suspended sentences for violence, and that he “has no sense of guilt”.

All the way through the trial, the accused pleaded only to battery, and not to murder. He apologised to his 19-year old victim’s parents after the trial was concluded.

Two other members of the gang that killed the football fan are serving sentences of 13 and 15 years. The search is on for the fourth member, and a European arrest warrant is out for his capture.