Thursday 18 January 2018

Man stabbed to death in abandoned pub left paralyzed when attacker cut his spinal cord

Andrzej Slawomir Wawrzyniak (36) at a previous hearing
Andrzej Slawomir Wawrzyniak (36) at a previous hearing

Eoin Reynolds

A homeless Polish man who was stabbed to death in an abandoned pub was left paralyzed when his attacker cut his spinal cord, a murder trial heard today.

Andrzej Wawrzyniak (38), with no fixed address, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jacek Kozakiewicz (44), at a derelict pub on Dublin's North Wall Quay on February 26, 2014. Mr Wawrzyniak pleaded guilty to a second count of assault causing harm to Filip Talaj at the same place on the same date.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn SC that she identified 20 stab wounds to the head and neck of the dead man. One of these had cut his spinal cord and would have left him paralyzed on the left side and unable to feel anything on his right side. Two of the main blood vessels in his neck were also severed, causing him to bleed to death. In total she noted 23 stab wounds, most of them to the head and neck.

Mr Wawrzyniak and the dead man were living in a makeshift squat at the site of the former Vallance & McGrath pub on Dublin's North Wall. Three other people lived there at the time and the court today heard from one of those, Filip Talaj.

Mr Talaj told Mr McGinn that on the night Jacek died all five occupants of the squat had been drinking together. An argument started between him and Mr Wawrzyniak and Jacek acted as peacemaker. He brought them to a separate room and asked them to shake hands.

They continued drinking and some time later Jacek fell asleep on the floor of a room that the squatters had turned into a makeshift kitchen. Mr Talaj said the argument flared again and he told Mr Wawrzyniak that he didn't want to fight him. He said: "He started fighting with me. He didn't care what I said to him. He tried to beat me."

Mr Talaj said he pushed Mr Wawrzyniak who then took a knife and attacked him. He suffered a number of knife wounds but escaped after kicking his attacker in the chest. He hid in a dark corner of the derelict building for up to 20 minutes. It was during this time that the prosecution alleges that Mr Wawrzyniak killed Jacek.

Mr Talaj said that after about 20 minutes he heard his attacker leave so he emerged from his hiding place, armed himself with a knife and attended to his wounds. A short time later gardai arrived having been alerted to a stabbing by Mr Wawrzyniak. They discovered Jacek's dead body with multiple stab wounds lying on the kitchen floor close to where he had earlier been sleeping. "I thought he was still asleep," said Mr Talaj.

Mr Talaj was brought to the Mater Hospital where he was treated for knife wounds to his face, neck, shoulder, left wrist and right hand.

The trial continues before Justice Robert Eagar and a jury of nine men and three women on Monday.

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