Thursday, August 13, 2009

Polish man killed himself on remand for knife threat to wife

A 29-YEAR-OLD man arrested for threatening his wife with a kitchen knife committed suicide in prison after being remanded in custody.

Police were called to the home of Oktawian Stepka after he came home drunk, accused his wife of having a lover and threatened to kill her and her "lover".

Emilia Jakubiak told officers on the day of the offence, Wednesday, June 3, her husband returned to their home in Birchwood Avenue, Hatfield, drunk at 5pm.

She was asleep on the sofa when Stepka, who had been drinking for three days, woke her up and tried to hug her.

His wife told police she told him: “Get off me, you stink,” and told him she wanted a divorce.

Stepka asked her if she had a lover and threatened to kill him and her.

He then went to the kitchen and tried to light a cigarette from a gas hob, which she told him was a dangerous thing to do.

His wife told police at that point her Polish husband picked up a bread knife and started waving it at her. She left the room and dialled 999, but Stepka was gone before officers arrived.

He was arrested a little while later and in interview said that the night before he had drunk half a bottle of whisky and four beers.

He claimed his wife told him she had been seeing another man for four years.

Stepka admitted in the past he had pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife and punching her in the face while on holiday in Egypt.

Stepka, who had a surgical implant to cure an alcohol problem, committed suicide in custody on Tuesday, July 21, after being charged with affray.

During a hearing at St Albans Magistrates Court today Helena Lewer, for the prosecution, said the Crown could only formally discontinue proceedings against the deceased after a death certificate is provided.

Chairman of the bench Mrs Munro adjourned proceedings for two weeks until Wednesday, August 18, for the death certificate to be sent to the Crown.