Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ex-soldier jailed for slaughter of paedo friend

A FORMER soldier who battered his housemate to death after the victim admitted raping a five year old girl was today jailed for life.

Wojciech Sokolowski, 35, buried the body of Jurij Grigorjev in a shallow grave in their back garden in Wembley Park Drive.

When the house was sold the 28-year-old victim's skull was found in the undergrowth by a twelve-year-old boy.

Ordering Sokolowski to serve a minimum of 16 years before he can be considered for parole Judge Timothy Pontius said: 'Whether or not Mr Grigorjev was a paedophile we cannot be sure, although evidence from a number of witnesses tends to support the suggestion he may have been.

“If he was, that provided no excuse whatsoever for what you did.”

The two men had been drinking together at the house on the night of January 14 last year when Grigorjev had confessed to friends he liked to have sex with children and bragged about raping the little girl.

Sokolowski, who is 6ft 5ins, weighs 18 stone and has served in the Polish army, has an eight-year-old daughter and angrily accused him of being a paedophile.

He attacked the victim with his open palms, fists and knees as he sat on the sofa in the living room.

Others in the room tried to stop him but they could not prevent the Pole from battering the victim to death, the Old Bailey heard.

One housemate said the victim's face was “all mashed up” and Sokolowski had blood on his arms up to the elbow, and he shouted insults at his victim even as he sat senseless on the sofa.

Later that night, together with at least two other men, Sokolowski dragged the body into the huge garden at the back of the house, and a piece of bloodstained carpet was cut out and thrown away and the walls were cleaned.

Sokolowski was later seen with mud on his clothes and apologised to the other residents for “what had been going on”.

When the body was discovered in August last year parts of the dead man's jeans and pants were still on his body, and there was even a ?5 note in the pocket of his leather jacket.

His teeth were chipped and several of his ribs were fractured but the cause of death could not be ascertained.

Sokolowski, who has his daughter's name tattooed on his arm, had moved a few streets away to Grasmere Road and he was arrested nearby on December 11, almost a year after the killing.

The Pole claimed he had been at the house but had left before the attack and said witnesses who saw him killing the victim had lied.

Charles Miskin, defending, said: “The evidence of witnesses suggest there was some level of provocation, words which sparked a chance quarrel.”

Mr Miskin read from the impact statement of the victim's mother who said: “I knew my son does not have a very even temper.

“He liked to be involved in conflict. I was afraid he would kill someone when he was fighting with others.”

He added: “There was an explosive cocktail that night. These were all men who were living on the edge of society with no real security.”

Sokolowski bowed his head as the judge said: “I am prepared to accepte for the purpose of sentence that you did not specifically intend to kill Jurij Grigorjev.

“However, on the jury's verdict you clearly intended to hurt him very badly.

“You may well have been influenced by alcohol which is no excuse at all.

“I do accept that lost your temper fuelled by drink when you heard what apparently he had admitted. Then you beat him very severely.

“The single aggravating feature and it is a significant one is having realised you had killed your victim you set about attempting to conceal your crime by burying his body in the ground in a desperate attempt to avoid responsibility for his death.”