Jersey murder trial: Damian Rzeszowski 'has no memory of deaths'

Kacper and Kinga Rzeszowski
Image caption Damian Rzeszowski killed six people including his children Kacper, 2, and Kinga, 5

A man accused of six murders in Jersey, including his wife and children, has no memory of the event, a court has heard.

Damian Rzeszowski, 31, stabbed his wife Izabela Rzeszowska, 30, daughter, Kinga, five, and son, Kacper, two, in St Helier on 14 August last year.

At the Royal Court, he is also accused of murdering his wife's father, her friend and her friend's daughter.

Psychiatrist Dr Dale Harrison said Rzeszowski, who admits the killings but denies murder, was hearing voices.

Dr Harrison spoke to the defendant, a Polish national, days after the attacks, Bailiff Sir Michael Birt and the two jurats heard.

Rzeszowski has pleaded guilty to manslaughter through diminished responsibility.

The manslaughter pleas are not accepted by the Crown, who argue the defendant was not suffering an "abnormality of the mind" when the attacks took place.

Image caption The defendant listened with his head bowed and eyes closed as the killings were described

In the first interview Dr Harrison conducted with Rzeszowski on 19 August 2011, the defendant said he could not remember what had happened.

A statement from Dr Harrison said: "Damian said 'I just remember the knife. I remember bits and pieces, going behind wife and running behind her'.

"He stated he did not remember attacking the children. He did remember his father-in-law and later running behind his wife."

As well as the deaths of his wife and children, the defendant is accused of murdering Marek Garstka, 56, Marta De La Haye, 34, and Julia De La Haye, aged five.

On Monday, the court in St Helier heard that Rzeszowski claims to have blacked out after cooking sausages at a barbecue at his family's home before the attacks took place.

Barbecue 'long finished'

Earlier on Tuesday the court was read a statement from a Jersey police officer who had overheard a conversation between Rzeszowski and his parents several weeks later at La Moye Prison in Jersey.

The defendant told his mother "the barbecue was long finished when it happened", the statement said.

The court was shown the two kitchen knives used in the attacks.

Solicitor General Howard Sharp, prosecuting, described the victims' injuries.

Rzeszowski looked at the floor throughout the proceedings and lowered his head further as details of the injuries were explained.

Image caption Details of the children's injuries were told to the court

Four out of the six victims were attacked with more than one knife. All had cuts to their hands where they tried to defend themselves.

Dr Harrison said when he had first interviewed Rzeszowski five days after the attacks he had found no definitive symptoms of psychosis.

But after re-examining the defendant following his return to Jersey from treatment in Broadmoor Hospital, Dr Harrison said: "For the last week he has continued to experience voices.

"These voices are related to stress he is under. His stress levels are up since leaving Broadmoor Hospital and being put in prison."

The court heard that during his first interview with the psychiatrist, Rzeszowski said: "Everybody gone, it is father-in-law, my wife, my wife's friend and daughter. It is me, I did that."

He had drunk several glasses of whisky on the day of the attacks but was under the drink-drive limit, the bailiff and jurats heard.

The trial continues.

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