Man sentenced for killing Nicola Cross - Hemel Hempstead

19/12/2016

A man appeared at St Albans Crown Court today, Monday, 19 December 2016, and was sentenced to an indefinite Hospital Order for killing a woman in Hemel Hempstead last September.

Marcin Porczynski, aged 24, from Claymore, Hemel Hempstead was sentenced today after pleading guilty on Friday, 16 December 2016, to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Nicola Cross, aged 37, was stabbed to death at her home in Dunlin Road, Hemel Hempstead on 14 September 2015.

Phillip Mansfield, District Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the unlawful killing of 37-year-old Nicola Cross in Hemel Hempstead last September whilst she was in in her own home with her two children.

"At around 11pm on Monday, 14 September 2015, police received a number of calls, including two from Nicola, about a suspicious man in Dunlin Road, Hemel Hempstead.  Nicola then called her husband, who was away on business, and he heard her shouting at someone and then screaming before the phone went quiet.  Desperately concerned for Nicola's welfare he phoned the police, who attended the address and found Nicola at the top of the stairs with multiple stab wounds to her chest and back.  Despite the best efforts of the police officers and paramedics, Nicola was declared dead at just after 12.30am.  Marcin Porczynski was located in the rear garden, along with one of Nicola's children, and was arrested.

"At St Albans Crown Court on Friday, 16 December 2016, Porczynski pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.  Manslaughter by diminished responsibility is a partial defence to murder, which is only established if there is medical evidence that it is more likely than not that a defendant was suffering from an abnormality of mind that substantially impaired their responsibility for their actions.

"When Porczynski indicated a guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, we carefully and thoroughly reviewed all the evidence in this case, including the assessment of independent psychiatric reports.  In light of all the evidence, the CPS took the view that it was appropriate to accept the plea and fully discussed the decision with Nicola's husband before accepting the plea.

"This case represents a devastating tragedy with Nicola, a wife and a mother of two, being killed in such horrific circumstances. I would like to thank her husband and family for the support they have given to the prosecution of this case.  Our thoughts are very much with all of Nicola's family and friends at this time."

Detective Chief Inspector Jerome Kent from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit said: "This was an incredibly tragic incident. It is highly unusual to be randomly attacked in your own home and is one of the saddest cases I have ever dealt with.

"The pain Porczynski has inflicted on Nicola's family is unimaginable. They have shown great dignity since her death and our thoughts remain with them all. Sadly, I am sure no sentenced passed could ever ease their suffering.

"As you can imagine, they have been through so much already and have specifically requested not to be contacted directly by any member of the press and I would ask the media to respect their wishes."