AN Ellesmere Port man has been found guilty of murdering his housemate.

Arkadisuz Kaczmarek, 22, was charged with the murder of of his housemate, 47-year-old Slawomir Kulesza, at Blakemere Court, Ellesmere Port, on or just after May 1 this year.

The jury of six men and six women at Chester Crown Court took just under an hour to reach their unanimous verdict on Thursday, October 29.

It came at the end of a nine-day trial.

Prosecuting, John Benson QC said both Kaczmarek, who had been employed at Greenwood plant Nursery near Hooton, and Mr Kulesza were Polish nationals.

They had been living as housemates in separate bedrooms at Blakemere Court since February.

Wirral Globe:

Slawomir Kulesza

On the night Mr Kulesza died, the pair had been to the Westminster Convenience Store on Westminster Road at 10.45pm, where Kaczmarek had purchased a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Both were seen on CCTV cameras at the store and on CCTV on the roads leading to and from their house.

Wirral Globe:

Arkadiusz Kaczmarek and Slawomir Kulesza at a convenience store on the night of the killing

Kaczmarek was wearing a Nike-emblazoned top, camouflage trousers and white socks.

Both men returned to their house.

Mr Benson said there was mobile phone GPS evidence to say Kaczmarek left the house at 1.05am.

Kaczmarek dropped a kitchen knife in an alleyway by the Conservative Club on Church Street at 1.11am, having clambered over a highsecurity fence to get there, injuring his ankle in the process.

Wirral Globe:

The knife discarded at the bottom of a metal fence

A knife in the alleyway was later recovered by a member of the public on May 3. It had a blood stain and DNA matching that of Mr Kulesza and Kaczmarek.

Kaczmarek was later seen on CCTV getting on to, then falling asleep in, the garden of a home on Worcester Walk at 1.27am.

A passer-by tried to wake him, then alerted the home's residents about the man sleeping in the garden, who was intoxicated and Polish.

Police later identified Kaczmarek at Westminster Bridge at 3am, looking intoxicated, and gave him a lift back to his home. They noted his clothing was blood-stained.

When they returned to Blakemere Court, Kaczmarek tried to enter the house through the back entrance, but it was locked. Police noticed the front door was ajar.

Kaczmarek entered the house and said his housemate must have been asleep.

In bodycam footage shown to the jury, while one police officer obtained ID details from Kaczmarek in his ground-floor bedroom, the other police officer went to the kitchen to find the body of Mr Kulesza in a pool of blood in the kitchen.

Despite the officer attempting CPR, Mr Kulesza could not be revived and paramedics - who had been called to the house - pronounced him dead.

Mr Benson told the jury there had been signs of a "sizeable disturbance" in the kitchen, with broken glass.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Kulesza had a total of 10 stab wounds in his head, chest and arm, with fractures to the skull and ribs, with wounds in the brain and heart.

The wounds had been made with "severe force", the jury heard.

Kaczmarek was arrested and interviewed by police several times over the following weeks, with the aid of a solicitor and an interpreter.

He gave no comment to most answers, but on the fifth interview issued a prepared written statement which said "on account of the amount of vodka he consumed, he had no recollection of the events that night."

Repeatedly, when cross-examined by Mr Benson about the events that night, Kaczmarek responded via an interpreter: "I don't know, I can't remember."

He claimed he had no memory of what happened between leaving the Wesminster Convenience Store just before 11pm and arriving at the police custody suite in Blacon at about 4am.

Detective Inspector Kate Tomlinson, who led the investigation on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team, said: “The strength of the evidence gathered by my team of officers as part of this case left the jury with no doubt that Arkadiusz Kaczmarek was guilty of the murdering his housemate.

“He subjected Slawomir to a horrific degree of violence, stabbing him with a kitchen knife multiple times, including through the side of his head into his brain and through his heart.

“It was a vicious and sustained assault and Kaczmarek then left Slawomir dead or dying on their kitchen floor as he went out to dispose of the knife.“He took Slawomir’s phone with him, leaving the victim with no way of calling for help.

“CCTV footage captured Kaczmarek walking around with the knife in his hands.

“He disposed of it in an alleyway in the Worcester Walk area of Ellesmere Port before officers in a patrol car spotted Kaczmarek walking on Westminster Bridge with blood on his clothes.

“DNA analysis subsequently proved that blood on Kaczmarek’s clothes and on the kitchen knife belonged to Slawomir.

“Traces of Kaczmarek’s DNA were also found on the knife.

“Kaczmarek’s actions on the night of Friday 1 May were completely out of character.

“This was his first offence and it was committed after he had drunk an excessive amount of alcohol.

“Kaczmarek has always claimed that he was so drunk that he cannot remember what happened, so we may never know what led to him stabbing his housemate several times that night.

“Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and we hope that this case deters others from using knives and committing similar offences.”

Chief Inspector Catherine Pritchard, of Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “The details of the brutal killing of Slawomir Kulesza may shock the local community.

“I would like to thank the members of the public who have helped to secure the murder conviction and bring Kaczmarek to justice.

“I would also like to thank the officers that have been involved in this case for all their hard work.

“Our Major Investigation Team have worked tirelessly in gathering vital evidence and piecing together the case.

“This included speaking to witnesses, collecting and viewing CCTV footage and carrying out forensic enquiries.”

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “As this case shows, the consequences of getting heavily drunk and using a knife as a weapon can be devastating for everyone involved.

“This horrendous crime was committed by a previously law-abiding citizen.

“My condolences go to the victim’s family. I hope that this conviction, and the fact that his killer will now be made to face the consequences of his appalling actions, provides them with some comfort.”

Kaczmarek, who has no previous convictions in either the UK or his native Poland, was also found guilty to be in possession of a bladed article on May 2, after he had accepted the man shown on CCTV footage depositing a blood-stained kitchen knife by the Ellesmere Port Conservative Club at 1.10am was him.

After the verdict was delivered, Kaczmarek bowed his head and wept as he was led to the cells.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday morning.