Sofija Kaczan death: Mugger guilty of killing 100-year-old

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A mugger has been found guilty of killing a 100-year-old woman whose neck was broken in a handbag robbery.

Sofija Kaczan died of pneumonia on 6 June in Normanton, Derby, days after the attack.

Mrs Kaczan was robbed near her home in Empress Road, Normanton, on 28 May as she made her way to church.

Artur Waszkiewicz, 40, of Wolfa Street, Derby, had denied manslaughter and robbery but was convicted at Derby Crown Court.

Heroin addict Waszkiewicz knocked his victim to the floor, took her handbag and left her to bleed in the middle of the road.

Polish-born Mrs Kaczan, who survived a Nazi camp during the Second World War, suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured neck and cheekbone.

She later died of pneumonia brought on by the injuries.

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Det Ch Insp Darren De’ath from Derbyshire Police said: « This was a horrendous crime that shocked me, my colleagues, the community in which it happened and indeed the whole country.

« Mrs Kaczan survived the Nazi occupation of Poland before coming to Derby in 1948 to start her life afresh. »

He added the victim was in « remarkable health » and was seen « regularly walking to the church close to her home ».

St Maksymilian Kolbe, the church Mrs Kaczan attended, said she was an active member of their community who enjoyed shopping, having her hair done and attending lunches at the Polish Centre followed by bingo.

A spokeswoman said she had a « very difficult early life » but had found « stability and tranquillity » in Derby.

« That tranquillity was shattered by the brutal events of 28 May 2018, » the spokeswoman added.

« Despite the pain and suffering that she was in for the last week of her life, she had the capacity to pray for her attacker before she died. »

The jury deliberated for just over two hours before unanimously convicting Waszkiewicz.

The defendant, wearing a black velvet jacket and velvet slipper shoes, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as the verdicts were delivered.

He was caught on CCTV driving a Seat Leon before robbing Ms Kaczan – slowing down as soon as he saw a « small, vulnerable » woman on her own.

He needed an « easy target » to steal from so he could meet a drug dealer a short time later to buy heroin.

After the bag-snatch, Waszkiewicz fled to London and hid under a bed at his mother’s house to try to avoid arrest.

He had also cut his long hair and changed the insurance details on his car.

He was arrested after his fingerprint was recovered from a receipt in the handbag.

Waszkiewicz, who was also born in Poland, was so desperate for cash to feed his addiction he had tried to sell his dog and asked a neighbour for money in the past.

He had previous convictions for shoplifting, creating false identification documents and battery.

He is due to be sentenced on Thursday.

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Source: The Guardian

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