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Depraved killer took photos of girlfriend Patrycja Wyrebek after strangling her

“He’s not a human being. He’s not even an animal because an animal kills to survive,” said Patrycja's step-mother Yvonne

Sharon O'Neill

A man who strangled his young girlfriend to death with his bare hands took photographs of her lifeless body after he murdered her, it has been revealed.

Dawid Lukasz Mietus must serve a minimum of 20 years in jail before being considered for release for killing the partner he claimed to adore, Patrycja Wyrebek, who was just 20.

Patrycja’s distraught family believe he should spend the rest of his days behind bars for taking her life.

“He’s not a human being. He’s not even an animal because an animal kills to survive,” said step-mother Yvonne, who looked after Patrycja since she was a little girl.

“I don’t know what was going on in his head, what kind of person is he? How is it possible to do such a thing to someone he claimed to love?

“I think he should stay in prison to the end of his life. I think he should be kept from other people, particularly women.”

Even police believe Mietus would be a danger if ever released.

“He has clearly demonstrated a strong propensity for violence, which is fuelled by alcohol and anger issues,’’ said Detective Inspector Mark Gibson.

Now the 25-year-old killer has been sentenced, more has been revealed about this terrible crime, how he tried to cover it up, and his attempts to smear victim Patrycja by claiming her death was a sex game gone horribly wrong.

“He has maintained this version of events throughout and has dragged this case through the courts for over a year-and-a-half. It’s only recently that he has actually admitted his guilt. He showed absolutely no remorse at any stage, and took no responsibility for what happened,’’ said DI Gibson.

“It couldn’t be more distressing. Patrycja came to Northern Ireland with her family as a young girl, with her whole life and all her hopes and dreams ahead of her.

“Mietus killed her that night, along with all her dreams for a better life. Her family are left heartbroken, with no answers as to how or why he could be so cruel.”

Yvonne said: “I didn’t believe that (sex game) for a second. Since the beginning I didn’t believe it. I knew Patrycja very well, I know she wasn’t interested in this kind of thing.”

Asked what does that tell her about Mietus, she replied: “For me he is not normal. He’s very calculating and cold and estimates everything only for himself.”

While speaking, Yvonne regularly kisses and hugs a framed picture of the young woman she treated as her own daughter — her life cruelly taken at the height of the Covid pandemic back in August 2020.

“Patrycja pretended to be a warrior, a very tough lady but in her heart, she was dreaming to have a loving husband, loving family, just like any other woman,’’ said Yvonne.

“When I close my eyes I can see her smile. I still have the impression she has just left the room and she will be back very, very soon. It still doesn’t feel real.”

Patrycja and Mietus met online and their relationship quickly developed with the young woman moving to Newry to be with him in January 2020.

Contact with her family in north Belfast became minimal and by the time August came, Patrycja’s hopes of a new life would be extinguished.

Then came that moment every parent dreads. “I thought maybe Patrycja was in trouble. The female officer came in and told me she had been murdered,’’ said Yvonne.

“I just hoped it was not her until I saw her (body) the next day. It is not possible to describe. When you see your child is lying dead, it is not like in the films.

“I remember Patrycja looked as if she was asleep, but had small injuries close to her lips.

“The person in a situation like me wants to die, to kill myself, to do something to escape this awful thing.

“I was angry, really angry. I was angry with all the world, even angry at Patrycja. I didn’t understand how it could happen — why did it happen to us?”

Yvonne is haunted by Patrycja’s last moments. “I think about it often. I feel guilty she was alone, there was no one who could help her. I feel guilty we were not there at that moment.”

Patrycja was found naked and dead in the bath of their home in Newry after Mietus told relatives living nearby that he killed her.

“This was a vicious attack. He punched Patrycja several times to the face, breaking her nose and then strangled her with his hands,’’ explained DI Gibson.

Mietus killed Patrycja in the bedroom, then moved her body to the bathroom. And he didn’t own up immediately, instead he tried to clean up the heavily bloodstained murder scene with bleach and concocted various stories to try and cover his tracks.

First, by texting friends pretending that his girlfriend was missing, then talking about ways of deposing of Patrycja’s body to those stunned relatives who would alert the police.

“In the aftermath, his actions were cold and calculating. His thoughts were of escape and evasion from the police. Really, his only concern was for himself. He demonstrated a complete disregard for Patrycja and her family,” added DI Gibson.

But one of the most disturbing aspects of this case is that Mietus took pictures of Patrycja’s dead body.

“It’s clear from the evidence gleaned that Mietus was in a state of panic after he realised what he’d done. He was clearly trying to piece together a plan to try and get away with the murder,’’ said the detective.

“As to why he took pictures of the scene and of Patrycja’s body, only he can answer that. However, it does suggest a very disturbing mindset.”

The trigger for murdering his girlfriend is not exactly known — but at his sentencing hearing the court was told he saw red after a row with Patrycja over previous partners.

“It is unlikely that the court will know with certainty what actually happened in the house on the night in question. There were only two people in the house — the deceased and the defendant,’’ said the prosecutor.

It was at that same hearing Mietus said sorry for making up the story about the sex game that never happened.

“He (Mietus) tried to be cute in the way that he dealt with it... but it was also stupid,’’ said a defence barrister.

Patrycja’s loved ones believe this back-tracking and late admission of guilt was not about remorse, but was all about Mietus trying to get a lesser sentence. In the end he got one of the longest handed down for murder in Northern Ireland.

“I don’t know what was going on in his head, what kind of person is he, how is it possible to do such a thing to someone he claimed to love,’’ said Yvonne.

“He took my daughter, he took a sister from my children, but most importantly he robbed Patrycja of the opportunity to have a good life, fulfil her dreams.

“So many boyfriends who wanted to spend their lives with her, but she picked the wrong one.

“I have no words to describe him… this will stay with us for ever, we will miss Patrycja for ever.”

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