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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Cumbrian murder trial told accused ‘had every reason to be scared’

A man accused of murder had “every reason to be scared” before the incident took place, a court has heard.

Related: Carlisle murder trial defence 'nonsense', says prosecutor

Barrister Gordon Cole was defending 30-year-old Piotr Zygner, of Currock Road, Currock, Carlisle. Zygner is accused of murdering Piotr Kulinski on October 14 last year.

The Cavaghan & Gray factory worker died after being stabbed seven times outside his home in Arnside Road, Harraby, Carlisle.

Also facing charges of murder are Paulina Mucha, 26, and Sylwester Kawalec, 23, also of Currock Road. The three all deny the charge.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Mr Cole said that Zygner had been violently attacked in his home in 2010 and was scared before meeting Mr Kulinski.

“My Zygner said to the police that he was scared for his family and for himself”, said Mr Cole. “He was the victim of an assault in 2010 in his own home in which he had broken an arm.

“He had every reason to be scared.”

But Mr Cole acknowledged that Zygner had been drinking and had taken ecstasy, and that it was “at the very least daft” for the group to go to Arnside Road before the attack.

Regarding the incident itself, Mr Cole suggested that Mr Kulinski may have carried a knife out of the house before the attack and that Zygner may have acted in self-defence.

Mr Cole said: “The force of the blows was ‘at least moderate.’

“Maybe this is an example of just how dangerous and lethal a weapon a knife can be. Consider at the time of this that Mr Zygner was defending Sylwester Kawalec.”

Mr Cole urged the jury to consider that Mr Kulinski may have swung at Zygner with a knife in his hand before he himself was stabbed.

Regarding the charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, Mr Cole said that Zygner simply removed clothing and put it in a bag, and was not party to any plot to dispose of the evidence.

Two other men, Artur Skoczen, 30, of Ashfield Close, Denton Holme, and Artur Woszczyna, 44, of Beverley Rise, Harraby, are also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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