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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Carlisle murder accused wanted clothes to be ‘disposed of’, court told

A man accused of murder asked for a bag of clothes to be taken away after the fatal stabbing, a court was told.

Piotr Kulinski photo
Piotr Kulinski

Related: Carlisle murder trial told stab victim suffered catastrophic bleeding

A jury heard that these were then driven from Carlisle to St Bees in west Cumbria.

Carlisle Crown Court was told a bag was taken from a house in Denton Holme where a number of people were gathered after an attack on Polish factory worker Piotr Kulinski.

Mr Kulinski, who worked at the city’s Cavaghan & Gray factory, and who had a young son and partner, lost his life after being stabbed outside his home in Arnside Road, Harraby, on October 14 last year.

Three people have gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court accused of the murder of Mr Kulinski, while two others are also in the dock in connection with the case.

Piotr Zygner, 30, Paulina Mucha, 26, and Sylwester Kawalec, 23, all of Currock Road, Currock, Carlisle, deny murder.

Zygner and Kawalec also deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice, while Mucha has admitted this offence.

Artur Skoczen, 30, of Ashman Close, Denton Holme, Carlisle, and Artur Woszczyna, 44, of Beverley Rise, Harraby, Carlisle, deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Iwona Kawalec – the partner of Woszczyna and the sister of Sylwester Kawalec – gave evidence through a video link on day four of the trial yesterday.

Speaking mainly English in a Polish accent, she said she and Woszczyna ran a burger van from the city’s Brampton Road and had been at work the day before the stabbing.

The following morning her brother had called Woszczyna. Her partner told her that Kawalec told him he had “fought Kulinksi with Zygner”.

Later, when she went out, Woszczyna rang her and said: “Come shortly to the house because I have to help the boys”, adding police were looking for them, the court was told.

Officers later came to their house and she said she gave them her brother’s mobile phone number.

She then phoned her brother who, she said was: “scared”.

She told the court that Kawalec later rang her asking for money back that he had put into the burger van business.

She and Woszczyna, the court was told, took the cash to her brother at a house in Denton Holme.

Zygner, Kawalec and Mucha were among those there.

The court was told Zygner asked for clothes to be taken out and Woszczyna said yes.

Brian Cummings QC, prosecuting, asked Miss Kawalec if Zygner said why he wanted Woszczyna to take the bag of clothes.

“If police find them they would be in trouble,” she replied.

Miss Kawalec said she and Woszczyna drove to St Bees.

Once there, she said, Woszczyna disappeared with the bag.

When he came back he no longer had it, the court was told.

On the way back, Miss Kawalec said she received a phone call, telling her Mr Kulinski had died.

She said this was a “really big shock” adding Woszczyna “looked surprised”.

Miss Kawalec told the court: “I asked Artur, when police asked me about something, what I have to say? She said he replied: “Just say you don’t know nothing about it.”

Miss Kawalec also said Woszczyna had told her that Zygner had “cut” Mr Kulinski.

The court heard both she and her brother had, some months before, contacted police about problems to do with “a group of Polish males”.

Her brother, the jury heard, had been attacked outside his car and she had been followed going to work.

In cross-examination, it was suggested Woszczyna had not said he had to “help the boys” and Zygner did not ask Woszczyna to take the bag away.

Miss Kawalec refuted this.

The court was told that on the day of Mr Kulinski’s death his partner, Katarzyna Plominska, was woken by noise outside their home. She saw him lying on the ground with two men apparently hitting him.

They ran off and he was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary.

He died from stab wounds. The incident happened on October 14 last year.

After his death, a post mortem examination revealed seven fresh stab wounds and a number of healing wounds.

Mr Cummings told the jury on day one of the trial: “The prosecution allege Mr Kulinski was attacked by two men and we allege these two men were Zygner and Kawalec.

“We allege that these two men escaped from the scene in a vehicle driven by Paulina Mucha.”

He said it was also alleged these three joined forces with the others “to try to prevent the police from solving the crime and particularly by disposing of evidence”.

The trial, which is expected to last up to six weeks, continues.

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