HMA v MACIEJ HETMANSKI

At the High Court in Edinmburgh Lord Turnbull sentenced Maciej Hetmanski to life imprisonment after he pled guilty to the murder of his partner Alexandra Korkus on 16 June 2011 at Firbank Road, Perth. The punishment part was fixed at 15 years.

On sentencing Lord Turnbull made the following statement in court:

“For a period of around 9 years you lived with Alexandra Korkus, firstly as a couple and then as a family with the addition of your two children, now aged 5 and 2. It is perfectly obvious that you cared for your partner and for your children. Both here and in Poland you worked hard and for long hours to provide for your family.

It is clear though that you and your partner began to drift apart. There is no blame that can be apportioned for this set of circumstances, such things commonly occur in life.

However it is equally clear that you were unable to cope with the thought of separation and the change in your family circumstances which this brought about. I accept entirely that you were very upset and emotionally distraught as a result of the realisation that your partner no longer wished to live with you.

However no one adult has the right to determine the life of another. Your former partner had the right to live in a relationship of her choice and to terminate that relationship should she wish to do so. As a young woman of only 28 years old Alexandra Korkus had the right to look forward to a long happy and fulfilled adult life and to live that life in a manner of her choosing. 

Your selfish failure to face up to your own circumstances and your self centred reaction to the fact that you were not getting your own way took all of that away from her. Furthermore, your selfishness has resulted in your own children being robbed of their mother and having to cope with being brought up without the care and support of either parent.

No words can convey the extent of the trauma which was caused to your young children by witnessing the horrific murder of their mother.

No words can convey the nature and extent of the loss inflicted on Ms. Korkus’s mother, father, sister and brother.

The willingness of Ms Korkus’s sister and her patrner to take on the burden of bringing up your children shows them to have all of the qualities of humanity, kindness and care which were so conspicuously absent in your conduct.

These decent and caring people have taken on this burden despite the fact that the very presence of the children serves to remind them daily of their own loss and of the terrible circumstances into which the children have been placed.

Grief, upset and despair at the end of a relationship cannot count as any form of mitigation for a murder during which your victim was stabbed 45 times in her own home whilst trying desperately to defend herself.  I can take account of the other aspects of your background and history which Mr Stewart has described to me. However such matters can only have a limited benefit.

The sentence for murder is life imprisonment and that is the sentence which I will impose.

I am also required to select a period of time which must elapse before you may even be considered for release on parole. Given the despicable circumstances in which this killing took place, and even taking what account I can of your background, that period out to be set at 18 years.

Given the fact that you pled guilty at the earliest opportunity I will however restrict that period to 15 years. Sentence will date from 20 June 2011”.