A heroin addict was found guilty of killing a 100-year-old survivor of the Nazi camp after he had ambushed and left her bleeding on the street.

Artur Waszkiewicz knocked Zofija Kaczan to the ground in the middle of Empress Road in Derby when she grabbed her purse on May 28 last year when she went to church.

He caused the widow born in Poland to bleed and suffered several injuries, including a broken neck and a cheekbone.



preview



Last moves of the 100-year-old killed by robbers

After surviving a Nazi camp during World War II, she died on 6 June of pneumonia caused by the injuries she sustained in the attack.

After just under two hours of counsel, a jury of seven men and five women before the Derby Crown Court unanimously condemned Waszkiewicz for manslaughter and robbery.

The 40-year-old self-proclaimed heroin addict, also born in Poland, wore a black velvet jacket and velvet slipper shoes as he looked straight ahead and showed no emotion while the judgments had passed.

Artur Waszkiewicz was convicted of manslaughter and robbery. Picture: Derbyshire Police
Image:
Artur Waszkiewicz was convicted of manslaughter and robbery. Picture: Derbyshire Police

He was caught in CCTV driving a Seat Leon minute before he robbed Ms. Kaczan, who was known by friends as "a heart of gold." He squealed then when he saw a "small, vulnerable" woman alone.

Waszkiewicz later met with a drug dealer to buy 20 pounds of heroin, so he needed an "easy target" to steal from.

As he tore the handle of Mrs. Kaczan's handbag, he severely injured her arm.

Prosecutor Kate Brunner, QC, said, "She was attacked, she was knocked down and her handbag was stolen from her.

"She was small, alone and vulnerable – an easy target for a man desperate for money.

"He attacked Ms. Kaczan, tore her handbag off her and left her injured in the street and drove off."

Zofija Kaczan was badly injured, including a broken neck and cheekbone, when she was ambushed. Picture: Derbyshire Police
Image:
The victim was severely injured, including a broken neck and cheekbone, when it was attacked. Picture: Derbyshire Police

After the raid, he fled Derby and went to his mother's house in London, where he hid under a bed to escape arrest.

The jury heard that he had shaved his long hair and changed the insurance details on his car bought from his father.

When his vehicle was found abandoned in a parking lot, he had wiped it with a disinfectant that was in the car.

Ms. Kaczan was told days before she died that Waszkiewicz had been arrested after his fingerprint was found on a receipt in her pocket. She prayed for him.

He was so desperate for money that he had tried to sell his dog and begged a neighbor for money.

Waszkiewicz had several previous convictions, including shoplifting, a battery breach and the creation of false identity documents.

He denied the charges of manslaughter and robbery. He said he had found the green purse in the middle of the street, picking it up and removing it at a known dump, as there was no money.

Officers look for anyone who has seen this Seat Leon on the day of the attack in Normanton. Credit: Derbyshire police
Image:
Waszkiewickz brought this Seat Leon to a screeching halt by Zofija Kaczan. Image: Police of Derbyshire

A spokeswoman for St. Maksymilian Kolbe, the church in which Ms. Kaczan participated, thanked all those who helped bring Waszkiewicz to justice.

She said Ms. Kaczan was a hundred-year-old, but she enjoyed her life "going to church, shopping, getting her hair done, and having lunch in the center of Poland, followed by bingo."

Ms. Kaczak "had a very difficult early life," but after coming to Derby in 1949, "she found a degree of stability and calm" that "was destroyed by the brutal events of May 28, 2018," she added ,

She said, "Despite the pain and suffering she had in the last week of her life, she was able to pray for her attacker before her death, and we believe she found peace in the arms of her Heavenly Father."