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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Murder accused only found out about fatal stabbing when police told her

A woman accused with two other people of murdering a Polish factory worker said she had no idea anybody had died until the police told her.

Piotr Kulinski photo
Piotr Kulinski

Related: Carlisle murder trial told: I didn’t see knives

Paulina Mucha, 26, denies the offence, as do Piotr Zygner, 30, with whom she was in a relationship, and her cousin Sylwester Kawalec, 23. At the time, all were living at Currock Road, Currock.

Giving evidence at Carlisle Crown Court, Mucha admitted repeatedly lying to the police about what happened on the morning of October 14 last year when Cavaghan & Gray factory worker Piotr Kulinski was fatally stabbed outside his home in Arnside Road, Harraby.

In earlier evidence, she told the jury she agreed to drive the car away from Arnside Road after Zygner and Kawalec got back into it.

She recalled seeing spots of blood on Zygner’s hands but assumed he had been fighting. She insisted that she did not know anybody had died and she did not see either of her co-defendants with a knife.

In evidence yesterday, Mucha agreed that she did not begin to tell the truth to the police until 72 hours after she was arrested.

Under questioning, she admitted initially lying about where she was, denying driving to Arnside Road, and claiming she was in a house with friends at Ashman Close, Denton Holme, where she and the others had attended a party.

She said Kawalec told her he would tell the police he was at Ashman Close throughout the morning and she should say the same.

Asked why she told that lie, she said: “My only reason was that I was afraid on account of Sylwester [Kawalec]. It was a stupid idea. I thought it would help him.”

Prosecutor Brian Cummings QC said: “At the time you agreed to say you never left Ashman Close. By that stage, you must have realised that Piotr Kulinski had been killed during the time that Zygner and Kawalec had been out of the Astra [car].”

Mucha replied: “No. I didn’t know that Kulinski was dead. It was the police who told me.”

Mr Cummings insisted she must have known that her co-defendants had been involved in a crime.

“I thought they had had a fight,” she said.

Mr Cummings went on to suggest that she stuck to her false story for so long because she had her own “involvement to hide”.

She replied: “I didn’t do anything – that’s the first thing. I was lying because I was worried about Sylwester and that was my only reason.”

Two other defendants – Artur Skoczen, 30, of Ashman Close, Denton Holme, Carlisle, and Artur Woszczyna, 44, of Beverley Rise, Harraby, Carlisle – deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice by trying to dispose of evidence after the death of Mr Kulinski.

Mucha said she did not see Skoczen give Zygner clean clothes to wear and she only told police that happened because it “seemed logical”.

The trial continues.

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