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16 December 2016, 17:25
A Polish warehouse worker has admitted to the manslaughter of a Hemel Hempstead mum by diminished responsibility.
In September 2015, Marcin Porczynski broke into a family home late at night and stabbed Nicola Cross to death after "voices" told him a child was being starved to death.
The mother of two desperately tried to save herself and her children after discovering Mr Porczynski in her home and made a frantic phone call to her husband, IT worker Danny, who was working away from home that night
Nicola, 37, was still on the phone when Mr Porczynski fatally stabbed her in the heart as she pleaded with him to stop the attack on the night of September 14/15.
The husband heard her desperate fight for life, but could do nothing to help her, something a court was told haunts him to this day. After killing Nicola, Porczynski tried to take her two young children from their home.
As he led the children from the house, police officers turned up and he was arrested.
It was then police officers realised Porczynski was the same man they had questioned a short while earlier in the street outside Nicola's home in Hemel Hempstead, after they had received reports he was acting suspiciously.
But when he provided his correct details including his name, age and address he was allowed to go on his way.
It was later in a series of interviews that he claimed he believed he had to "sacrifice" Nicola or his own family back in Poland would be killed.
Today Friday Porczynski appeared at St Albans Crown Court where he pleaded not guilty to Nicola's murder, but guilty to her manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
It was a plea that was accepted by the crown after hearing at the time of the killing Porczynski had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and taking drugs including cannabis and cocaine may have been hearing voices in his head for up to two years before.
Porczynski, now 26, lived round the corner from Nichola's three storey town home in Dunlin Road in Hemel Hempstead.
He had arrived in the UK around the start of 2015 from Kieice in Poland and was living with other Poles in a multi occupancy house Claymore Avenue in Hemel.
One man sharing the house with Porczynski, Robert Dziel 19 had noticed he had been "sad and depressed" in the weeks leading up to the killing on the night of Monday September 14 of last year.
Porczynski, who since his arrest has been kept at the top security Rampton Hospital pleaded guilty to Nicola's manslaughter, but then pleaded not guilt to two counts of kidnapping, burglary and aggravated burglary.
The charges to which pleaded not guilty to were allowed to remain on the file.
Judge Bright said he would consider what sentence to pass on Porczynski over the weekend, and would sentence him at St Albans Crown Court, on Monday morning.