A man convicted of the death of a 100-year-old woman in Derby | News from the United Kingdom

A man was convicted of the death of a 100-year-old woman whose neck was broken during a street robbery in Derby.

Artur Waszkiewicz hit Zofija Kaczan on the ground, on Empress Road, in Normanton, while grabbing her purse while she was heading to the church.

Kaczan, born in Poland and having survived a Nazi labor camp during World War II, was injured several times during the May 28 attack, including a broken neck and cheekbones. She died June 6 of pneumonia caused by her injuries.

The Derby Crown Court jurors deliberated for just over two hours before unanimously concluding that Waszkiewicz had been convicted of manslaughter and theft. Sending to the jury, the judge said: "The sentence will inevitably be a long sentence of imprisonment. Mr. Waszkiewicz knows that.

Artur Waszkiewicz



Artur Waszkiewicz, who denied manslaughter and theft, claimed to have found Kaczan's handbag in the middle of the road. A photograph: Derbyshire Police / PA

CCTV showed Waszkiewicz driving a Seat Leon car purchased from his father a few minutes before the Kaczan flight. He slowed down as soon as he saw a "vulnerable little woman" alone, the prosecution said. He needed an "easy target" to steal so he could meet a drug dealer soon after to buy £ 20 worth of heroin.

Kate Brunner, head of prosecutions, said: "She was attacked, thrown to the ground and her purse was torn off. She was small, alone, vulnerable – an easy target for a desperate man in search of money. He attacked Ms. Kaczan, tore off her purse and injured her on the road before she went away.

Police arrested Waszkiewicz, also born in Poland, after his fingerprints were found on a receipt in Kaczan's bag. After the incident, he fled Derby and hid under a bed at his mother's home in London to avoid arrest. He changed the details of the insurance on his car and changed appearance by cutting his long hair.

The jury learned that he was so desperately in need of money that he had tried to sell his dog and asked for money from a neighbor.

The trial was informed that the 40-year-old had already been convicted of theft, creating false identity documents and battery.

He denied both counts, claiming that he found Kaczan's purse in the middle of the road, picked it up and threw it to a place known for flipping the flies, for lack of money.

A spokeswoman for St Maksymilian Kolbe at the Polish Kaczan Church said: "We would like to thank all those who participated in bringing the perpetrator of the crime against Zofija Kaczan to justice.

"Ms. Kaczan was an active member of our community. Although she turned 100, she spent her life going to church, shopping, having her hair done and attending lunches at the Polish center, followed by a bingo.

"She had a very difficult life at first. Coming to Derby in 1949, she had regained a degree of stability and tranquility. This tranquility was broken by the brutal events of May 28, 2018.

"Despite the pain and suffering she experienced during the last week of her life, she had the ability to pray for her abuser before she died."

Kaczan's friends paid tribute to her, saying she did not want to celebrate her 100th birthday, as it was the same day of the year she was sentenced to death by the Nazis.

Waszkiewicz of Shepherd's Bush in West London will be sentenced Thursday in court.

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