Man jailed for attacking widowed shopkeeper - Luton

06/07/2016

A widowed shopkeeper thought she would die when she was attacked by a bare-chested man on the same spot where her husband was murdered six and a half years earlier.

The 56-year-old victim was slashed in the face with a shard of glass during a sustained attack by Tomasz Jaworski early on Christmas Eve morning in Moon's Newsagents in Park Street, Luton.

Jaworski, aged 31, continually told her he wanted to kill her, and grabbed her around the neck so forcefully that she felt her eyes would come out of their sockets. He kicked and punched her to the face and jaw, pulled out her hair and beat her on the head repeatedly with beer cans and tins from the shop. The five-foot tall woman ended up of the floor in the same place that her husband was found murdered. Jaworski, who had been in the shop previously, saw the photograph of the husband and the candle that his wife lit every day in his memory. He told her: "I am going to send you to him."

The victim's husband Jashbai Patel, aged 59, who was known as Mr Moon, died in the shop after being stabbed eight times by robber Richard  Dettmer on 14 June 2009. Dettmer, who got away with around £20 in coins, was jailed for life in December that year.

Opening the case at Luton Crown Court, Beverley Cripps, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Jaworski , who was bare-chested and wearing shorts despite it being early on Christmas Eve, first attacked a man in Windsor Street at 4am saying: "Come fight with me. Come fight with me." He struck him, causing his head to bang on the glass of a bus stop. He suffered concussion and a 2 centimetre cut to his top lip, which needed three stitches.

Afterwards, Jaworski, who had a key clenched in a fist and appeared drunk, went into Moon's newsagents at 5am where the woman's nephew was working. He said: "I have not eaten for four days and want to kill someone." He banged on the counter and was ushered out of the shop by the nephew. He returned and there was a struggle in which Jaworski hit him on the head with a bottle, which left him dazed.

The woman then arrived in the shop and when she saw what was happening tried to leave, but she was picked up by Jaworski and taken back inside. Ms Cripps said twice he put his arms tightly around her neck. "She felt her eyes were going to come out such was the pressure. He picked up a piece of glass and drew it down her face, drawing an 8-inch line from her hairline to her mouth. She was repeatedly told she would be killed and was to be sent to see her husband after the sadistic cutting of her face," said Ms Cripps.

Jaworski of no fixed address, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty, at an earlier hearing, to the attempted murder of the woman and two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH). He had been sentenced to a Community Order for criminal damage on 21 December last year, telling the police he had been using legal highs. Also, he had been sentenced to a year in Poland for assisting a kidnap in 2014.

Defending, Marcus Tregilas-Davey said: "He can offer no explanation for his behaviour. He has expressed shock and contrition. He told the probation officer he was disgusted and upset with himself. At the time he said he was suffering from some sort of breakdown. He was topless and was calling out strange things. He said he had heard voices on the day. In part, the explanation may be use of alcohol and legal highs."

Judge Richard Foster told Jaworski: "You knew the sad history and told the woman you were going to send her to her husband. I am of the view you were under the influence of either drink or drugs at the time of these offences." He said he regarded him as a dangerous offender and will be subject to deportation proceedings when he released. He passed a 17-year extended sentence - a 12 year custodial sentence with a 5 year extension, which means he cannot apply for parole until he has served 8-years and will be on licence until the 17 years are up.

As a result of the attack and the memories of her husband's murder the woman has been forced to give up the business she had run for 33-years. In a victim statement she said: "I lost my livelihood and my chance to keep his memory alive. For me work was everything. It wasn't just work it was my life."

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