Father murdered ex-partner in frenzied knife attack in front of their young children —(STV News)

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STV News

28 October 2011

Maciej Hetmanski inflicted 45 wounds on Aleksandra Korkus as their five-year-old daughter shouted ‘Help my mummy’.

A father murdered his ex-partner in a frenzied knife attack in front of their young children.

Maciej Hetmanski inflicted 45 wounds on Aleksandra Korkus as their five-year-old daughter shouted ‘Help my mummy’.

Days before the attack Hetmanski had found Miss Korkus in bed with another man after the couple had previously split up.

After the murder 38-year-old Hetmanski later said at a police station: “Do the kids know mummy is dead?”

The Polish car mechanic admitted murdering the 28-year-old at his home in Firbank Road, Perth, on June 16 this year by repeatedly stabbing the victim, when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday.

Hetmanski, who will be sentenced to life imprisonment, wept in the dock as details of his crime were told to the court.

Advocate depute Susanne Tanner told the court: “Two very young children were present during the incident and have now been left without a mother.”

The prosecutor said the victim’s sister Kamila was now responsible for bringing up the five-year-old girl and young son and is trying “to provide a normal family situation”.

Miss Korkus’ mother, Jolanta, felt that “time stopped for her” when she received the news of the death, Mrs Tanner told the court.

The advocate depute added: “She fears for the future of her grandchildren when she thinks that they have been mentally injured by their own father and must cope with this for their entire lives.”

Hetmanski and Miss Korkus, who was known as Ola, met in Poland and were together as a couple for nine years up until May this year, having moved to Scotland in February 2009.

The advocate depute said that problems started to emerge in the couple’s relationship about six months to a year before the murder.

Arguments

Mrs Tanner added: “The accused was working a lot of hours and she started to go out to nightclubs with a friend which caused him to be concerned for their relationship.”

A number of arguments took place between the couple and they separated at the request of Miss Korkus, who moved to a house in the town’s Unity Terrace, although care of the children was split between them.

Mrs Tanner said Hetmanski had a history of heavy drinking and his alcohol consumption increased following the separation. He was depressed and stressed and was prescribed medication.

He made “a number of attempts or pseudo attempts at suicide” and in their wake was advised to avoid alcohol. Two days before the murder Hetmanski arrived at Miss Korkus’ house with the children and found her in bed with a man she had been seeing.

He made another suicide bid but later spoke with her and at his insistence they decided to give their relationship another go for a one month trial period.

Mrs Tanner said: “However, she later changed her mind about this after speaking to a friend and told the accused that she had decided against reconciliation.

“The accused spent the later part of that day drinking and visited neighbours saying that he loved her and crying because she had gone to her house with the children. Later that day he went to her house and left bunches of flowers at the door.”

Stabbing

On the morning of the murder, friend and neighbour Gina Taylor contacted Miss Korkus saying that she was worried about Hetmanski. Miss Korkus made repeated calls and texts to him asking if he wanted to see the children.

Mrs Taylor went to Hetmanski’s home to check on him and found him lying in bed apparently drunk. She later checked on him again and discovered he was lying on the living room floor sobbing and he asked her to phone Miss Korkus, who walked round to his house.

Shouting and screaming was later heard coming from Hetmanski’s home and Mrs Taylor went to the door. Her knock went unanswered but the door was open and she went in. She heard Miss Korkus screaming.

Mrs Tanner said: “Both the accused and Miss Korkus were in the children’s bedroom at the end of the corridor. The accused was standing at the door of the bedroom facing Miss Korkus and holding a knife in his hand.

“The girl was crouched on the hall floor screaming ‘Help my mummy’. Miss Korkus was screaming ‘Call the police, call the police’,” said the advocate depute.

Mrs Taylor grabbed the little girl and got her out of the house and shouted on her husband to call the police. She could hear the two-year-son also screaming and went back in.

She saw Hetmanski standing over his former partner “making stabbing motions”.

Police arrived and found Hetmanski coming out of the bedroom with blood on his hands and clothes. The victim was found surrounded by a pool of blood with her son beside her.

Killer ‘upset’

She suffered a cardiac arrest in an ambulance en route to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital and despite emergency medical attention — including suturing a penetrating wound to the heart — she succumbed to her injuries.

The victim was found to have stab wounds to her neck, chest, arms, legs and back and had wounds to her heart, lung, kidney, spleen and liver.

Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC said Hetmanski had been “very emotional” at meetings and added: “I have found him to be tearful and upset on every occasion the events of that day are discussed.”

Lord Turnbull told Hetmanski: “You have pled guilty to the crime of murder and for the crime of murder the only sentence which can be imposed is one of life imprisonment and in due course that is the sentence which I will impose.”

The judge continued the case until December to allow a background report to be prepared as he has to fix a minimum term that the murderer must serve before he can apply for parole. Hetmanski was remanded in custody.