NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man found guilty of knife killing in Aberdeen

Bohdan Cieslar Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Bohdan Cieslar denied murder

A man has been found guilty of culpable homicide after stabbing a man to death in Aberdeen.

Bohdan Cieslar, 59, denied murdering Aleksander Smerdel, 44, in December last year at Donside Court by repeatedly striking him with a knife.

He claimed he acted in self-defence.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh convicted him of the lesser charge of culpable homicide. Sentence was deferred for reports until 12 September.

Cieslar agreed during the trial that Mr Smerdel was taller, heavier and much younger than he was, and added: "He was capable of lifting heavy sofas."

Defence counsel Ian Duguid QC had asked if he would thought of taking Mr Smerdel on in a fight, and he replied: "Never."

Image caption The fatal incident happened in Aberdeen's Donside Court last December

He told the court that Mr Smerdel went to grab him by the neck and he fell onto a computer table with a knife in his right hand.

He said the other man lost his balance and fell next to him and he thought the knife had entered his stomach.

'Fell onto it'

Mr Duguid asked him: "How did it enter his body?". Mr Cieslar replied: "He fell onto it."

Lord Pentland told Cieslar that he had to order a background report on him before sentencing because he has never previously been jailed.

The judge remanded him in custody ahead of sentencing.

He told jurors that it had been an "anxious case".

Det Insp Gary Winter, who led the inquiry, said after the verdict: "I would once again like to thank local residents and colleagues of Mr Smerdel for their assistance throughout the investigation.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Smerdel and hope today's conviction affords an element of closure for them."

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