Violent killers handed life sentences for beating Wakefield man to death on his own doorstep with chair legs

Three violent killers who beat a Wakefield man to death with chair legs on his own doorstep over an unpaid debt have been handed life sentences.
Mr Pawlak suffered fatal head injuries in the sustained assault.Mr Pawlak suffered fatal head injuries in the sustained assault.
Mr Pawlak suffered fatal head injuries in the sustained assault.

Adam Litwinowicz, Michal Szymanski, and Maciaj Solarz were found guilty after a trial of the murder of 31-year-old Aleksander Pawlak in his basement flat on Pinderfields Road.

All three, who were also convicted of conspiracy to rob, were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court this morning.

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Litwinowicz, 24, of no fixed abode, was told he must serve at least 30 years.

The scene on Pinderfields Road.The scene on Pinderfields Road.
The scene on Pinderfields Road.

Michal Szymanski, 25, and Maciaj Solarz, 28, from Southampton, were told they must serve at least 27 years.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC told them: "You attacked him on the threshold of his own doorstep before stealing items from within his home.

"You must have stepped over his body with callous disregard for what you had done and an indifference to his death."

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During the trial it was heard that Litwinowicz, Szymanski and Solarz, along with Szymanski's girlfriend Karolina Kukawska and his brother Marceli Szymanski, had travelled up from Hampshire to Wakefield in a VW Passat on the evening of September 8 last year.

Litwinowicz had been friends with Mr Pawlak, but that turned sour over a debt Mr Pawlak owed.

Text messages between Litwinowicz and Szymanski a month prior to the attack discussed driving up to West Yorkshire to confront Mr Pawlak and take what they felt was owed.

After the VW Passat parked up, Litwinowicz, Solarz, and Szymanski went into the basement flat where Mr Pawlak lived alone.

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They had brought chair legs with them as weapons, along with gloves to avoid leaving finger prints.

The injuries the victim suffered pointed to a “a sustained, violent assault”.

He suffered multiple fractures to his face and choked on his own blood which led to his death.

Neighbours heard screaming and shouting from the premises and the emergency services were called.

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When he was arrested in the Southampton area days later, Solarz was wearing a Hugo Boss gold watch which matched one stolen from Mr Pawlak.

Two televisions had also been stolen from the flat when police searched Solarz’s home in Southampton, they found a Bush TV which had staining from Mr Pawlak’s blood on it.

The weapons and gloves containing DNA that matched the defendants was also found.

Police arrested Szymanski, Kukawska, and Litwinowicz, as they waited in a vehicle to board a ferry at Dover on September 14 last year.

They all denied murder and conspiracy to rob.

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Karolina Kukawska, 21, of St Denys Road, Southampton, and his brother Marceli, 20, of Mallards Road, Bursledon, Hampshire, were both cleared of all charges.

Despite letters being written by the three guilty defendants apologising for their actions, Judge Bayliss QC said they had shown little in the way of remorse.

He said: "I'm quite sure from August 2019 there was a developing plan to rob Aleksander Pawlak in his own home and use significant violence in order to do so."