Beds, Herts & Bucks

Man denies dumbbell bar murder in Stevenage

A bakery worker jointly accused of bludgeoning a man to death at his home in Hertfordshire has told a jury he tried to prevent the attack.

Jaroslaw Kowalski, 26, was struck about the head with a heavy dumbbell bar in Stevenage in July last year, Luton Crown Court has heard.

Poles Marcin Skibicki, 29, of Bute Street, Luton, and Pawal Pilipow, 25, of Rye Close, Stevenage, deny murder.

Mr Pilipow said he took no part in the killing and blamed Mr Skibicki.

The court has previously been told that Mr Kowalski's room was "like a blood bath, like a horror scene".

He had 47 separate injuries on his head, face and body and a fractured skull and died shortly after being found in the room in Vardon Road.

Prosecutor Michael Speak has previously told the jury that the two defendants attacked Mr Kowalski for reasons which "remain obscure".

Both men blamed the other for committing the violence, he added.

Jailed in Poland

Mr Pilipow, who worked at the Allied Bakery in Stevenage with Mr Kowalski, told the jury he jumped in to break up a sustained "fists and feet" attack on the victim by Mr Skibicki.

They left to buy beer and Mr Skibicki began attacking Mr Kowalski again when they returned, he said.

"I kept asking him to stop," he added.

"Then he found a metal bar and tried to hit him with it. I jumped in between them.

"I did not kick or hit him at any time. I had no grudge against him."

Mr Pilipow served a prison sentence in Poland as a teenager after being convicted of the attempted murder of a boy, the court was previously told.

Lewis Power, defending Mr Skibicki, challenged Mr Pilipow's account.

"You took your shirt off in that room like some Neanderthal to give that man a really good going over with a metal bar because that is the sort of man you are.

"You are a cold, calculating murderer."

Mr Pilipow replied: "No I am not."

The trial continues.

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