Lincolnshire Waterway Murderers Sentenced
Adam Kaminski and Lukasz Ferenc subjected 41-year-old Marcin Stolarek to a violent and sustained attack in a house in Boston, Lincolnshire and forced him to take a potentially fatal dose of drugs. After the attack on the night of 27 November 2019, Mr Stolarek was tied up, taken to a nearby waterway and thrown in the water. His body was discovered nearly two months later in January 2020 at a pumping station. When Mr Stolarek’s body was discovered, Lincolnshire police launched an appeal to help identify him.
From this appeal and the subsequent investigation, a picture of Mr Stolarek’s death emerged. He had been attacked at the house in Union Court. Ferenc summoned an associate, Artur Klosowski, to drive them to the waterway with Mr Stolarek in the boot. Once the defendants heard that the body had been discovered, they set about trying to remove traces of the attack by cleaning, redecorating and trying to cover up what had happened at the house. Klosowski fled to Ireland to avoid detection and to try and hide the evidence that Mr Stolarek had been in his car boot.
Kaminski and his partner, Justyna Swiatek, were arrested at the house, where evidence of drug dealing was also found. Ferenc was identified as the leader of the drugs operation and then linked to the attack. His partner, Sylwia Strek was interviewed by the police and lied about her and Ferenc’s involvement. Klosowski was discovered in Ireland and brought back to face trial. All were charged with various offences connected with Mr Stolarek’s murder and their drugs operation and a trial started in May 2021.
Just as the trial had started, Kaminski pleaded guilty to murder. He had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice for trying cover up the evidence of the attack at the house at a hearing in January 2021. Klosowski pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by disposing of a body. Swiatek pleaded guilty to and assisting an offender for helping to conceal evidence of their crime. Ferenc pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and he and Strek pleaded guilty to drugs conspiracy offences. Both were tried for their parts in Mr Stolarek’s murder. Ferenc was found guilty of murder and Strek was found guilty of perverting the course of justice for her lies during the police investigation.
Ference and Kaminski were today (19 November) sentenced to life imprisonment. Ferenc was given a 22-year minimum term and Kaminski must serve a minimum of 19 years. Sylwia Strek was sentenced to two years and nine months. At earlier hearings, Klosowski was sentenced to two years, four months and Swiatek was jailed for 32 months.
Sally-Ann Flemmings-Danquah of the CPS said: “This was not only a highly distressing case to prosecute because of what these defendants did to Mr Stolarek, but it was also extremely complex. The defendants denied everything until the trial had actually started. This mean that prosecutors had to put together a case from lots of different pieces of detailed evidence from the investigation that identified the role each defendant had played. The involvement of Ferenc as the ringleader both of the drugs operation was clear from the evidence, so the prosecution stuck to the task to ensure he faced the full consequence of his criminality.
“This was a premediated and savage killing that these defendants continued after the initial attack and into the night. We have shown to the court how each of them acted with complete disregard for human life, only reacting when they knew the police had identified Mr Stolarek as the victim.
“Our thoughts are with Mr Stolarek’s family and loved ones who have had to deal with this sudden, senseless loss. I know it has been even harder for them being overseas while our court proceedings have progressed during the pandemic. I would like to offer them my sympathies and hope today’s sentence will at least give them some closure.”
Building the case
At the trial, each of the defendants was charged with murder, on the basis that they had acted together with the intent to kill Mr Stolarek. Evidence gathered by the police investigation linked each defendant to the crime. The task for prosecutors was to determine their level of involvement.
Ferenc was identified as the leader of the drugs operation and placed at the house where the attack took place. Phone evidence showed he had been at the house on the night of the attack, had gone to the waterway and returned to Union Court afterwards. He was also heard by a witness describing what happened at the waterway.
Evidence recovered at the house showed that Kaminski had played a major part in the attack, including DNA evidence, a weapon linked to the attack found in his bin and his attempts to cover his tracks.
Klosowski’s car was identified on camera taking the defendants to the waterway with Mr Stolarek. His attempted escape to Ireland was caught on CCTV as he took the ferry and DNA evidence confirmed that Mr Stolarek had been carried in the boot.
Phone evidence also showed regular contact between each of the defendants on the night of the murder, showing they knew what was happening and were taking an active part in either the killing or the attempts to conceal the crime.
When the guilty pleas were entered, the prosecution reviewed the case against each defendant and determined that the pleas were consistent with the evidence about the involvement of each defendant and that the offences covered the full scale of their criminality. The prosecution determined that Ferenc should continue to trial for murder, that the evidence against Swiatek was consistent with her assisting the offenders in their attempts to cover up the crime and the evidence against Klosowski was consistent with perverting the course of justice in disposing of the body. Strek was tried for perverting the course of justice on the basis of her deliberate lies to the police investigation and was found guilty by the jury.
Evidence of drug dealing was found at houses belonging to both Kaminski and Ferenc, including large quantities of cash, scales and other paraphanalia and traces of class A and B drugs.
Not guilty verdicts were recorded against a sixth defendant, Adam Maksajda.
Notes to editors
- Sally-Ann Flemmings-Danquah is a district crown prosecutor at CPS East Midlands.