London

Suitcase murder: Marta Ligman 'may have been alive' when body dumped in canal

Policeman standing by the canal Image copyright PA
Image caption The suitcase containing the body was found in the Grand Union Canal

A woman may have been alive when she was stuffed into a suitcase and thrown into a canal in north-west London, the Old Bailey has heard.

The body of Marta Ligman, 23, was found in the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice days after it had been dumped.

A post mortem test revealed injuries from a beating and hypothermia caused by being trapped in a confined space.

Ms Ligman's boyfriend, Tomasz Kocik, 38, a Polish national, of Buckingham Road, Harlesden, denies murder.

'Dead or dying'

Prosecutor Tim Cray told the court Ms Ligman was either "dead or dying" by the time she was dumped in the water.

He said: "If the initial attack had not killed her outright, the fact that she was then zipped into a suitcase and left inside would also have proved fatal."

The jury heard that on 1 May, Mr Kocik was seen on CCTV dragging a large suitcase which seemed "extremely heavy" half a mile from his home to the canal towpath before returning home with wet trousers.

The court was also told Ms Ligman's identity and bank cards were found burned and cut up along the same route and Mr Kocik failed to report her missing until after the discovery of a body was reported on the news.

'Obsessively jealous'

The couple had met online, the court was told, with Miss Ligman moving from Poland to London in 2012 to live with Mr Kocik.

Mr Cray told jurors that Miss Ligman's colleagues described Mr Kocik as an "obsessively jealous controlling boyfriend" who was violent towards her.

He said: "They saw her with unexplained injuries such as black eyes and facial bruising. In addition he would wait for her every day outside work and get angry if he didn't know where she was."

The court heard Miss Ligman's body was found by people on board a houseboat moored at Maida Vale who called police after spotting the suitcase with human hair coming out of it.

The trial continues.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites