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Canal boat renovator jailed for murdering former police officer Clive Porter

|News, Violent crime

A canal boat renovator who attacked and killed a former police officer has been jailed.

Sylwester Krajewski
Sylwester Krajewski

Sylwester Krajewski, 50, was convicted of murdering 63-year-old canal worker Clive Porter, a retired police officer known for his gentle demeanour and love of the outdoors, after a jury found him guilty at Reading Crown Court earlier this week. Today he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 35 years.

On 26 April 2021, Mr Porter issued a ticket to an unlicensed boat moored on the Aylesbury arm of the Grand Union Canal, near the boat on which Krajewski was living. Krajewski photographed Mr Porter doing this before approaching him. Despite Mr Porter remaining calm, Krajewski attacked and killed him.

Police found Mr Porter’s body in a water-filled ditch with his bicycle thrown on top of him. A post-mortem identified injuries indicating he had been struck several times in the face. The pathologist concluded that applied neck pressure, drowning or a combination of both were the only identifiable explanations for Mr Porter’s death, and, since he was wearing his life jacket designed to keep his head above water, the Crown Prosecution Service made the case that Krajewski forcibly held his head underwater.

Krajewski repeatedly denied killing Clive Porter, instead claiming to have defended Mr Porter against two attackers. More than once, Krajewski said he should get a “prize” or a “medal” from the Queen for his supposed heroic behaviour.

However, multiple eyewitnesses only saw the two men, Krajewski and Mr Porter; none saw another attacker. Alongside these eyewitness accounts, the Crown Prosecution Service presented forensic evidence to prove that Krajewski was the sole person responsible for Mr Porter’s death. A jacket and bloodstained rag found on Krajewski’s boat had both his and his victim’s DNA on them, and Krajewski’s blood was also found on Mr Porter’s life jacket and bike.

At the time of his arrest, Krajewski claimed his name was Daniel Wisniewski. Police found an ID and passport under this name, as well as several other falsified ID documents under various names. However, police discovered Krajewski’s true identity after taking his fingerprints, and found that he was already wanted by Polish authorities.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Rachel Lomas said: “Clive Porter was a quiet, non-confrontational man who was killed simply for doing his job. It was an utterly pointless and unprovoked assault by a man who refused to admit to his crimes.

“Sylwester Krajewski lied about his identity. He lied about the events on the day Clive Porter died, and he tried to blame witnesses for framing him. He is a liar and a fraud, and the jury was able to be sure that he committed this terrible crime.

“Even though nothing can relieve the tragic loss they have suffered, I hope today's sentence brings some semblance of justice to Clive Porter’s family and friends.”

Notes to editors

  • Sylwester Krajewski (D.O.B. 27.05.1971) was convicted of murder at Reading Crown Court on 22 February 2022. 
  • He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 35 years on 24 February 2022 at the same court.
  • Upon arrest, he was operating under the false identity of Daniel Wisniewski. A Newton hearing held after the trial established that he was Sylwester Krajewski.
  • Rachel Lomas is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Thames and Chiltern.

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