Jail for man who tried to kill Coventry prostitute in frenzied street knife attack - The Coventry Observer

Jail for man who tried to kill Coventry prostitute in frenzied street knife attack

Coventry Editorial 16th Dec, 2019   0

A MAN who trawled Coventry’s red light area looking for someone to kill before repeatedly stabbing a prostitute in an alleyway could end up spending more than 20 years behind bars.

Bartosz Konopacki had admitted wounding the 31-year-old sex worker with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm, but denied he had been trying to kill her.

But last month a jury at Warwick Crown Court took just an hour-and-a-half to find him guilty of attempted murder.

And following an adjournment for a report to be prepared on him Konopacki (26) of Hillmorton Road, Coventry, was given an extended prison sentence.

He was jailed for 21 years, of which he will have to serve at least 14 years, and will only be free before serving the whole term if the Parole Board decides it is safe to do so.

Konopacki will then be on licence for the rest of the period and for a further four years, the judge told him.

During his trial prosecutor Michelle Heeley QC said it was a planned intent to kill after he had armed himself with a large orange-bladed kitchen knife and gone looking for a target.

And his victim could have died if one of the police officers who attended had not pushed his fingers into a wound to her neck to stop her ‘bleeding out’ before paramedics arrived.

Miss Heeley said CCTV cameras had shown Konopacki driving round the Hillfields area at about 2.30am on May 7, going in a loop which included Vauxhall Street for 40 minutes before approaching his victim near the junction with Vernon Close.

“So this was not something that happened on the spur of the moment. This is a man who set out that night intending to kill someone,” commented Miss Heeley.

The victim said she had seen him driving past, so when he stopped and got out, she asked him ‘business?’

When Konopacki said yes, she showed him to an alley off Vernon Close where she leant down to get a condom from her shoe.

“I turn round and all I see is him with a big long knife. I’m cornered. It happened so quick, and so slow. He’s stabbing me in my heart and my neck, and there was blood spitting out everywhere.

“He didn’t want business. He was out to kill that night. He just pulled the knife straight out. I was so scared. I just felt all this blood.”

When Konopacki paused she ran from the alley and began banging on doors to try to get help, before a woman passing in a car stopped to help her and called the emergency services.

And she said: “I seen him drive past as I’m struggling for my life on the street. He stopped and was just watching.”

The police were first on the scene, and Miss Heeley told the jury: “It was only because a police officer stuck his fingers into one of the wounds that meant she was able to receive treatment for her injuries.”

She had been stabbed to the neck and at least three times to the area of her heart, as well as ‘defensive injuries to her hand as she tried to shield her face from the numerous blows.’

Despite fearing she was going to die, she had managed to make a mental note of part of his registration number which she was able to pass to the police, who later found the car.

At the resumed hearing Jeremy Lynn, defending, said: “It was almost certainly a combination of circumstances which led to him behaving in the awful way he did.

“But there is nothing to suggest he will ever do so again,” he said, arguing that it was not necessary to pass an extended sentence.

But jailing Konopacki, Judge Anthony Lockhart QC told him: “I sentence you for the grave offence of attempted murder.

“She suffered an open slash wound to her neck and several other stab wounds to her body.

“She was working in the early hours as a sex worker, and she saw your BMW cruising in the area.

“It is plain you were driving round looking for someone to target, and you had taken a very large knife with you in your car. I utterly reject your explanation that it was in your car to deal with the fuses. You took it with you that night to use it.

“It was taken there with cold, calculated planning, and without any warning you stabbed her to the chest and throat in a frenzied attack.

“After she got away from you a motorist helped her, and as that motorist helped her, you drove back and looked. Had she not been helped, she would have bled to death.

“She very nearly perished. They were fearsome wounds, and the planning by you was truly significant and chilling.

“This was an expedition to carry out a serious attack and then to kill. I am quite clear that when you were walking with her in that area, you had intended to kill her.

“Your break-up with your girlfriend had led to a resumption of your drug habit, but you have not told anyone the true reason for this horrifying attack. I am driven to conclude you present an ongoing risk.”

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