Deceased had head smashed in with television, court hears

Bogdan Michalkiewicz (Pic: Garda Press Office)
Bogdan Michalkiewicz (Pic: Garda Press Office)

A jury will hear evidence that an arthritic Polish man living alone in an apartment was stabbed several times and had his head smashed in with a television, a barrister told the Central Criminal Court today.

Alex Owens SC was outlining the prosecution case as he opened the trial of two men accused of murdering Bogdan Michalkiewicz (41), at Westside Apartments in Letterkenny, Co Donegal on May 13, 2013.

During a second arraignment today, Krystof Grzegorski (22), of Hazelbrook Park, Letterkenny pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter. Mr Owens said the plea was not accepted by the prosecution.

His co-accused Dariusz Weckowicz (51), who lived in Letterkenny at the time, pleaded not guilty to murder.

Mr Owens said that the deceased lived alone in the apartment where his body was discovered by his brother, two days after he had died.

The apartment complex was mostly unoccupied at the time with tenants in just one other flat. Mr Michalkiewicz, who came to Ireland in 2005, received a disability pension due to an arthritic condition and he required a crutch to walk.

He said the prosecution would call witnesses who would show that Mr Michalkiewicz suffered stab wounds to the face and abdomen and multiple "stamp" and "crush" injuries to the body.

He added that evidence will show that a television was "dropped on his head. His head was smashed in."

He said the prosecution believes that the attack took place at about 1pm.

The two accused then spent the evening together at various locations in Letterkenny but Dariusz Weckowicz returned that night and slept on a couch outside the apartment where Mr Michalkiewicz's body lay.

The court then heard from Detective Sergeant Paul Curran of the Garda Technical Bureau who photographed the scene.

He described seeing the body in the living room and blood stains on the walls and carpet. Close by was a knife, an overturned chair, a broken computer and a cathode ray television that had been smashed.

He said the dead man's upper clothes had been lifted and that his lower garments were lowered to his knees.

He also described a photograph that was shown to the jury which he said showed a bloody t-shirt, found at the scene, with footprint impressions in it.

The trial continues tomorrow in front of a jury of eight men and four women.