Father who killed his two-year-old son sentenced to life | UK news

A father who killed his two-year-old son after discovering that his mother was in a new relationship has been jailed for life.

Lukasz Czapla, 41, was unanimously found guilty of the murder of Julius Czapla and was ordered to spend a minimum of 23 years behind bars.

The judge described the murder as “truly evil, causing a defenceless child considerable distress”. The court heard that the former IT technician shot his son in the head with a BB gun, stabbed him with a skewer-like instrument and smothered him with a pillow at an address in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, in November 2020.

The high court in Edinburgh heard it was in an act of “revenge and jealousy” to “get back” at his former partner.

Lukasz Czapla was ordered to spend a minimum of 23 years behind bars. Photograph: Police Scotland/PA

Czapla had offered to plead guilty to culpable homicide, claiming diminished responsibility. However, prosecutors declined his plea and pursued a murder conviction.

After the verdict, Patrycja Szczesniak, Julius’s mother, said she will fight to ensure Czapla “never leaves prison”.

Szczesniak had separated from Czapla two months before he murdered their son.

In a statement released through Police Scotland, she said: “Czapla should not have the right to any defence and we will fight to ensure that monster never leaves prison.

“I only wanted the best for you [Julius]. If only I could turn back time to have you in my arms again, my child.”

Szczesniak added that her little boy loved and trusted his father. She said: “Despite the break-up with Julius’s dad, I wanted him to have contact with our son. I never stopped him seeing Julius. Julius was murdered only for revenge. His dad wanted me to suffer, he succeeded and achieved his goal, at the cost of my beloved little boy’s life.”

The court had heard that Czapla had been drinking alcohol and had taken prescribed antidepressants the night that he killed his son.

Addressing Czapla, judge John Beckett said: “As a result of your actions, your son will never grow up.”

Lord Beckett added: “There is no excuse you were filled with drink and drugs.

“You acted out of spite to kill this child to get back at his mother.”

The judge offered members of the jury counselling services, adding: “There can be nothing in your lives that will prepare you for this experience, I imagine it’s taken quite a toll for you to hear about such terrible violence inflicted on such a defenceless child for no reason, and bad reasons.”

He referred to forensic consultant psychiatrist Dr Alexander Quinn’s comments during the trial in which he described the events as “one of the most difficult and most harrowing of cases”.

Giving evidence during the trial, Czapla claimed that he killed his son because he had decided to end his own life and could not face leaving Julius behind without a father like he had been. He previously told the court: “I did not want him to suffer at all, that was not my intention. I had this stupid idea from the TV that people just die instantly.”

Czapla had previously pleaded guilty to nine other charges on the indictment, including dangerous driving offences and possession of an airgun. Sentences for each of these will run concurrently with his life sentence, the court heard.

PA Media contributed to this report

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