Fishponds man jailed for seven years for killing friend

December 31 2019
Fishponds man jailed for seven years for killing friend

A FISHPONDS man has been jailed for seven years for killing a friend who was dumped outside a hospital.

Krystof Solosciuk, of Pound Drive (above left) and co-defendant Tomasz Urbaniak, of no fixed address (above right), were found guilty of the manslaughter of Lucasz Grabowski following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

The jury was told that Mr Grabowski, 32, of Lawrence Weston, was beaten to death after stealing a consignment of illegally imported Ukrainian cigarettes from an organised smuggling gang.

A third man, Krystian Czelewicz, 37, is still wanted by police after fleeing the UK the day after the killing. Czelewicz, who was blamed by Urbaniak during the trial for causing Mr Grabowski's death, is believed to be in Poland and is subject to a European Arrest Warrant.

Mr Grabowski had become friends with the men after meeting them through his gym in Bristol.

The court heard that in November 2018 the four men planned to distribute a consignment of smuggled cigarettes around the UK.

They hatched a plan to steal the load for themselves and Mr Grabowski, below, saw it through, but once threats from the organised crime group were received he and his friends fell out over what to do.

 

Grabowski

Gloucestershire Police said Solosciuk and Urbaniak assaulted Mr Grabowski in an alleyway behind a Gloucester hotel, before forcibly bundling him into the rear seats of his own car.

He suffered serious head injuries and was dumped outside Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, where he died despite the efforts of staff to save him.

Urbaniak, 36, was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison and Solosciuk, 39, was sentenced to seven years in prison at the Old Bailey in December.

Both men had pleaded not guilty to murder but, following several days of deliberation, the jury found them guilty of manslaughter in November.

After the trial Detective Chief Inspector Ruth Mather said: "Lucasz had clearly got in with a bad crowd and tried to solve his own financial problems by stealing from them.

"Lukasz suffered a violent death which he did not deserve and it shows the level of violence those organised crime groups will go to."

Mr Grabowski's family said in a statement: “These verdicts will not bring Lukasz back to his family.

"Lukasz is missed greatly by his family and friends. We have waited a long time for justice.

"We would like to thank the police for their work and effort in investigating Lukasz’s death and for helping his family both in England and Poland."