Lodger found guilty of murdering elderly landlady

image copyrightPolice Scotland
image captionRoman Frackiewicz inflicted serious injuries on his landlady in a "sustained" attack

A lodger has been found guilty of murdering his elderly landlady in an attack in her Edinburgh home that ruptured her heart.

Roman Frackiewicz, who was drunk on vodka, assaulted the 77-year-old, leaving her with 14 fractured ribs, a broken breastbone and collapsed lungs.

Jadwiga Szczygielska let him stay at her flat after the priest at her church asked her to take him in.

He had denied murdering Mrs Szczygielska on 17 April 2020.

He was unanimously convicted of the murder by the jury at The High Court in Edinburgh.

Following the verdict the judge, Lord Braid, told him: "You have been convicted by the jury of the crime of murder and there will be only one sentence which I can impose, which is life imprisonment."

image copyrightPolice Scotland
image captionJadwiga Szczygielska let him stay at her flat after the priest at her church asked her to take him in

He adjourned sentencing on Frackiewicz until next month for the preparation of a background report.

Frackiewicz, who has two previous convictions for assault including domestic assault in 2018, was remanded in custody until his next appearance at the in court on 18 February.

Mrs Szczygielska came to Scotland from Poland in 2013 to live with her son.

He had a workplace accident and returned to Poland but she stayed on in Scotland where she had made many friends.

She continued to work as a childminder and sent money back to her family in Poland.

Frackiewicz, who is also a Polish national, came to the UK in 2012 and after moving in with Mrs Szczygielska he paid her £200 a month in rent.

The court heard he slept in the bedroom at the flat while Mrs Szczygielska slept on a sofa during the two years he stayed with her.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC said of Frackiewicz: "She gave him her bedroom and extended great kindness towards him."

'Terrible crime'

The court heard that the injuries suffered by the victim were of a type found in serious road traffic collisions.

The jury was told that the rupture to her heart could have proved fatal, but that the fractures and lung injury she suffered could also have killed her.

Mr Prentice said her son, Krzysztof, was unable to find words to express "how this terrible crime affects his life and his family".

Det Insp Bob Williamson, of Police Scotland, said: "Jadwiga Szczygielska was a generous and caring woman who was well liked within the community. She allowed Roman Frackiewicz to stay in her home at a time when he had nowhere else to live.

"Frackiewicz repaid Jadwiga by taking advantage of her within her own home and abusing her kindness. We will never know why he chose to attack her that night but his actions were violent, brutal and cruel resulting in the catastrophic injuries suffered by Jadwiga.

"He left her to die on her kitchen floor while he went to his bed."

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