Saturday 17 March 2018

Dad alleged to have killed 6 people had attempted suicide

Damian Rzeszowski with son Kacper
Damian Rzeszowski with son Kacper
Damian Rzeszowski with his wife Izabela and their children Kinga, five, and Kacper, 18 months
Kinga Rzeszowski, aged six, one of six people killed in Jersey over the weekend. Photo: PA

Victoria Ward in St Helier and Gordon Rayner

A father who allegedly murdered six people, including his wife and children, had earlier been discharged from hospital after he tried to kill himself because he feared his marriage was over.

Damian Rzeszowski, 30, took an overdose a month ago but allegedly spent just one night in hospital before being allowed to go back to his family home in Jersey, where he is believed to have stabbed the victims to death on Sunday.

Neighbours bravely tried to tackle the killer as he pursued one woman down the street, but could do nothing to prevent her being hacked to death in front of their eyes.

Rzeszowski, who stabbed himself repeatedly in the chest, is now under arrest in hospital after doctors carried out life-saving emergency surgery.

Friends of the family named the dead as Rzeszowski’s wife Izabela, 30, their children Kinga, five, and Kacper, 18 months; Izabela’s father Marek Garstki; her best friend Marta de la Haye, 34, and Mrs de la Haye’s daughter Julia, five.

A man who identified himself as the alleged killer’s best friend said he had gone berserk hours after Mrs Rzeszowska had returned from Poland with the couple’s children, where she had been visiting relatives.

The friend, who asked not to be named, said the couple’s relationship had “broken down” last month, and Rzeszowski took a massive overdose of anti-depressants.

“He was rushed to hospital but he was released the following day,” said the friend. “I just couldn't believe it.

“How could they let him out? He needed help. I asked him what I could do and he told me that only God could help him.

“I was extremely worried about him and warned him not to do anything silly.

“I think he thought that when his family returned from Poland, things would be better. They only came back on Sunday, their boat got in that morning. They had been away for two or three weeks. I just don't know what happened, he loved his kids.”

Neighbours at the Victorian terrace in St Helier described how they were alerted to the bloodbath when they heard a woman's "blood-curdling" screams.

They rushed outside to see Mrs de la Haye's body lying on the doorstep and Mr Garstki lying face down inside the door with a 12-inch knife plunged into his back.

The killer was chasing Mrs Rzesowska on the driveway. One witness said her mouth was open as if she was trying to scream but "no noise was coming out".

Another neighbour heard one of the women crying out “Please God help me” repeatedly for about three minutes, but her pleas “just got fainter and fainter” until she died.

Bryan Dgesa, 24, dashed into the street after Mrs de la Haye banged on his door shouting “help, help, help”. After finding her collapsed on his doorstep he saw the killer attacking Mrs Rzeszowska.

He said: "He was going crazy and repeatedly stabbing her in the back and shoulder.

“She was mumbling and I could not make out what she was saying but she looked incredibly frightened.”

Mr Dgesa grabbed the first thing to hand, a traffic cone, to use as a weapon.

He added: “She got away from the guy with the knife and I got between them. Then he started coming towards us, stabbing himself, before he went back into the flat."

Police arrived around five minutes after the attack, at 3pm on Sunday, and moments later a female police officer and a female paramedic wept as they carried the bloodied bodies of the children from the house.

Rzeszowski and his wife married around eight years ago in Poland and moved to Jersey six years ago. Mr Garstki, a CD packer for the internet music firm, also lived with them.

Mrs de la Haye, from Gdynia, northern Poland, lived with her Jersey-born husband Craig, who works for Jersey Electricity Company.

Jersey General Hospital declined to comment on whether Rzeszowski had been admitted there following his overdose last month.

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