Two men convicted of the murder of a man found dead in a Lincolnshire drainage channel were on Friday jailed for life at Lincoln Crown Court.
The body of Polish national Marcin Stolarek, 46, was found in South Forty-Foot Drain in Boston by a member of the public on 12 January last year.
He had suffered a catalogue of injuries including two leg fractures, a fractured cheek bone, a fractured eye socket and a head injury.
Lukasz Ferenc, 29, of Windsor Bank, Boston, and Adam Kaminski, 28, of Union Court, Boston, were this afternoon given life sentences by Judge John Pini QC.
Ferenc, who was found guilty of murder after a trial at Leicester Crown Court, will serve a minimum term of 22 years before he is eligible for parole.
He was also convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice relating to the disposal of Mr Stolarek’s body and drugs offences.
Kaminski, who admitted the murder after changing his plea to guilty during the trial, will serve a minimum of 19 years before he is eligible for parole after it was accepted he was not the prime mover in the killing.
He also admitted a charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice relating to the clean up operation after Mr Stolarek’s death.
Passing sentence Judge Pini said an iron bar was almost certainly used in the attack which was against a drugs background.
“This was a murder of shocking brutality, akin to an execution,” the Judge said.
Judge Pini said police found Kaminski and his partner Justyna Swaitek engaged in a clean up operation when they arrived at their home in Union Court.
A missing strap from Justyna Swaitek’s handbag was found around Mr Stolarek’s wrists when his body was recovered from the water.
There was also lethal levels of amphetamines in his body.
Judge Pini said it was not medically clear if Mr Storalek was still alive when he was dumped in the water, although boasts by Ferenc suggested he was still alive and Ferenc had “finished him off.”
“Either way his death was slow, and utterly terrifying,” the Judge added.
Judge Pini also paid tribute to the police investigation starting from an unidentified body. “This was police work of the very highest order.”
Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, said the motive for the murder was drug related and there had been three drugs seizures in the months leading up to the murder.
Mr Aspden said it was the prosecution case that Ferenc and Kaminski formed the intention to kill Mr Stolarek with a third man who is still at large.
Disposal of his body was “swift and quick” after Mr Stolarek was detained at Union Court, the court heard.
Mr Aspden said Mr Stolarek was taken away from Union Court at 4am and within 20 minutes the car had returned.
“The recruitment of Artur Klosowski to dispose of the body and drive the car was done well in advance,” Mr Aspden added.
The court heard Ferenc had a number of convictions for violence and blackmail in his native Poland.
In a victim impact statement Mr Stolarek’s mother said his three children had been left without a father.
It was his hope to build a new home in Bulgaria.
She said: “I don’t have words to describe the pain. It was supposed to be him burying his mother, not the other way round.”
Alison Summers, QC, mitigating for Kaminski, told the court he had just one previous conviction for shoplifting and got involved because of his own drug addictions.
She argued Kaminski may not have formed an intention to kill Mr Stolarek.
“Precisely what was done by whom at Union Court may never be known,” Miss Summers said.
“But what we do know is that Adam Kaminski did, all be it late, admit murder.”
Miss Summers said it was not clear if Mr Stolarek was still alive when he was taken away from Union Court and
Kaminski did not go with others to dispose of the body at the pumping station.
Brendan Kelly QC, mitigating for Ferenc, said there was some evidence to suggest that the killing may have been spontaneous.
“This was clumsy at best for a premeditated attack designed to kill.”
Mr Kelly added there was no evidence that the death was directly related to the drugs trade or a debt, although it was admitted Ferenc had been street dealing.
A third defendant, Sylwia Strek, 20, who was Ferenc’s partner, was sentenced to 33 months youth custody
after she was convicted of drugs offences and perverting the course of justice.
Chris Jeyes, mitigating for Strek, said she was just 18 when the offences occurred and moved to the UK when she was 6.
Two other defendants arrested during the investigation were sentenced in July.
Kaminski’s partner, Justyna Swaitek, 28, of Union Court, Boston, was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment for assisting an offender relating to the purchase of painting and decorating equipment after Mr Stolarek’s death.
Artur Klosowski, 30, of Witham Place, Boston, who was arrested in the Republic of Ireland and brought back to the UK, was jailed for 28 months after he admitted conspiring to pervert the course of justice by driving Mr Stolarek to the pumping station.
Det Supt Karl Whiffen, of East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), led the investigation.
Following sentencing, he said: “I cannot begin to imagine the pain suffered by Marcin’s family who continue to grieve the loss of a son, and a father. Our thoughts are with them today.
“This was a painstaking investigation that lasted 16 months, and it’s thanks to the tireless efforts from my team that Ferenc and Kaminski will now spend years in prison.
“There were a number of challenging elements: Initially we did not have an identity for the victim, but thanks to the support of people locally and in Poland, we began to build our case. Given the many weeks between the murder and discovery of Marcin’s body there were other challenges too, but the team remained resolute.
“Our goal has always been to provide answers for Marcin’s family, and to make sure his killers were brought to justice.”