Unanimous guilty verdict in Letterkenny murder trial

Unanimous guilty verdict in Letterkenny murder trial

Bogdan Michalkiewicz

A Polish man who came to Ireland to find a better life instead met a tragic death, his brother said today after his killer was found guilty of murder.

Krzystof Grzegorski (22), was today (Tuesday) found guilty of murdering fellow Polish man Bogdan Michalkiewicz (41 - pictured), at the victim's home in Westside Apartments, Letterkenny on May 13, 2013. He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but the prosecution rejected the plea.

The jury came to their unanimous decision after a little over five hours.

Bogdan's brother Tomasz, who has sat through every day of the three-week trial, wrote a victim impact statement that was read to the court by Garda Siobhan McGowan.

It said: "My only family left is my sister and mother back in Poland. My only family in Ireland was Bogdan, who came here with me in 2005 to look for a better life than we could get in Poland, but instead of that he met a tragic death."

He said his mother will never recover. "She is 65 years and living in Poland. She suffers from deep depression since Bogdan was killed. My mother went into shock when Bogdan died and lost the mobility in her legs."

Tomasz also spoke of the day he found his brother's battered body, lying in a bloody pool on the floor of his apartment in Letterkenny.

"It was the worst view I could have expected to see," he said. "I wouldn't wish anybody to see what I saw on that day." He said he thinks about what happened to Bogdan every day and has not had a proper night's sleep in three years. "I won't go to bed without checking a couple of times that the doors are closed. I used to trust people, now I don't trust anybody. I feel this strong pain whenever I think about it and blame myself that I should have done more to help him."

Trial judge Justice Patrick McCarthy sentenced Grzegorski to the mandatory term of life imprisonment before prison officers led the convicted man from court. The sentence was backdated to May 26, 2014 when Grzegorski was first taken into custody.