Polish Man Killed In Weightlifting Row

15 February 2013, 14:18 | Updated: 15 February 2013, 14:24

A Polish man, who killed a fellow countryman in a drunken argument over the Olympics weightlifting on television, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Konrad Kaczynski, 30, pleaded not guilty to murdering Wlodzimierz Jablonksi, 51, but was convicted unanimously by a jury at Luton Crown Court.

Mr Jablonski was attacked at a shared house in Stockwood Crescent in Luton, Beds on the afternoon of August 7 last year.

He died six days later in hospital from the injuries he had sustained.

Judge Richard Foster told Kaczynski that he must serve a minimum of 14 years of the life sentence before he can apply for parole.

He said: "On that day you got up to go to work but changed your mind and decided to take the day off because the Olympics were on tv. Not only did you watch it but you embarked on a vodka drinking session from early in the morning that continued all day. No doubt fuelled by that drunkeness, you retaliated to a dispute over the weight lifting and embarked on a vicious attack. You punched the victim round the head until he collapsed, unconscious. As if that was not enough you stamped on his head and kicked him in the ribs. I accept you did not intend to kill him and the attack was on the spur of the moment."

The court heard the victim and the accused man along with a third Polish man - Janusz Przystawski, 48, had all been drinking that day.

They were in Mr Przystawski's room at a multi occupancy dwelling house in Stockwood Crescent.

Both the accused and the deceased also lived in rooms at the house along with a couple and their son.

Beverley Cripps for the prosecution said in Mr Przystawski's room the Olympics were on the television and alcohol was being consumed.

Mr Przystawski agreed they had been drinking vodka since they had got up that morning.

The prosecution claimed an argument developed between Mr Kaczynski and Mr Jablonski resulting in the accused suddenly attacking him.

Mr Przystawski said the deceased fell to the floor and he saw Mr Kaczynski kick him to his face and his body.

He said he made the call to the emergency services and because he couldn't speak English all he could say down the phone was "5 Stockwood Crescent, Help!"

Tim Clark, defending, said "This would not have occurred if he had been sober, he is not a man with a history of serious violence. It is a stupid tragedy. What started as a relatively meaningless fight between two drunken men, suddenly became something more."