15th August 2011

Man held on St Helier stabbing charge

“Damian Rzeszowski was under arrest in hospital last night, recovering from stab wounds after the death of his wife, Izabela, their two children and his father in law,” reported The Times on 16 August. Two other victims of the multiple killing were Izabela’s friend, Marta de la Haye, and Marta’s daughter.

All of the dead had been stabbed with a selection of kitchen knives at a home in St Helier’s Victoria Crescent. Witnesses who had seen some of the killings described the killer approaching them while stabbing himself in the chest and arms. Rzeszowski later admitted to manslaughter with diminished responsibility upon appearing in court the following year.

Diminished responsibility

The Jersey Evening Post reported at the end of his trial, on 24 August 2012, that the “defence team argued that their client was suffering a severe brain abnormality which substantially reduced his responsibility for his actions, and said that he should instead be found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.”

The BBC wrote, “the court heard that Rzeszowski’s marriage had been under strain after his wife confessed to a two-month affair. Rzeszowski also threatened to commit suicide, the court was told.”

Not guilty

After a little over three hours’ deliberation, the court found him not guilty of murder, accepting his plea of manslaughter with diminished responsibility. During the trial, the court had heard from four medical professionals, one of whom stated that Rzeszowski was suffering from an abnormality of the mind. The court heard that he had no recollection of the killings.

The following month, Rzeszowski was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison and, as is customary, was sent to the mainland. However, in March 2018 he was found hanged in Yorkshire’s Full Sutton prison. The verdict was suicide.


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