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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Cumbrian murder trial hears girlfriend unaware anyone dead

The girlfriend of a man accused of helping three people allegedly involved in a fatal stabbing said she was unaware somebody had been killed as she spent time with him after the tragedy.

Kulinski murder trial phkoto
The scene of the alleged attack

Related: Carlisle murder accused wanted clothes to be ‘disposed of’, court told

Agnieszka Korczynska was giving evidence at the start of a the second week of a murder trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Polish factory worker Piotr Kulinski, who worked at the city’s Cavaghan & Gray factory, died on October 14 last year after he was stabbed outside his home in Arnside Road, Harraby.

The prosecution has brought murder charges against Piotr Zygner, 30, Paulina Mucha, 26, and Sylwester Kawalec, 23, all of Currock Road, Currock. All three deny murder.

Artur Woszczyna, 44, of Beverley Rise, Harraby and Artur Skoczen, 30, of Ashman Close, Denton Holme, Carlisle, deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Yesterday, barristers quizzed Miss Korczynska, Skoczen’s girlfriend, about the events leading up to and after the stabbing. She knew Mucha because she had worked with her at the Metal Box in Carlisle, and she also knew Kawalec because she had worked with him in Penrith. Miss Korczynska recalled making arrangements for a party at her house with Mucha. They agreed to make food together on the evening before the party on October 13. She confirmed telling police that when her guests arrived at the house she shared with Skoczen in Carlisle they brought a lot of alcohol – including beer, Bacardi, and vodka.

Mucha and Zygner prepared drinks and after drinking them she felt so intoxicated she suspected they were spiked. She and Skoczen woke the next morning on the sofa, she told the jury. She then got a call from Mucha, asking to come back to the house.

Asked about that Sunday morning, she said the scene was apparently normal, and she had not noticed blood on anybody’s clothes.

Miss Korczynska was asked if she had been aware that something terrible had happened, and she replied: “If I had known something had happened, I would have reacted to it somehow.”

She described how, even though she was not fit to drive, she had driven Mucha, Zygner, Kawalec, and Skoczen first to a petrol station in Currock and then towards Hexham for what she thought would be a visit to a car boot sale there.

But on the way, she was asked to stop in a lay-by and did so as Kawalec and Zygner got out of the car.

When the men got back in, they told her to drive back to Carlisle, she said.

She said she could recall no conversation that gave her cause for concern, and she was unaware there had been a fatal stabbing.

At no time, she said, was there any conversation about disposing of clothes, nor did her boyfriend do anything to help the others cover up what had happened, she told the jury.

Earlier in her evidence, Miss Korczynska described an incident on the M6 when she was in a car with Kawalec and another man.

The car was flagged down by a group of men who were armed with baseballs bats, which they then used to attack the vehicle. It happened in early 2012, and left her very frightened.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Brian Cummings said Mr Kulinski had been attacked by two men – Zygner and Kawalec – and were then driven away from the scene by Paulina Mucha.

The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.

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