Guilty: Man who stabbed victim with broken bottle at play park convicted of murder

A man who stabbed a young man with a broken bottle at a children's play area faces life in prison after being convicted of murder.

Dawid Kurdziel
Dawid Kurdziel

Robert Wieczorkowski, aged 32, of Hurleybrook Way, Leegomery, Telford, had denied the murder of Dawid Kurdziel, 23, between midnight and 1am on Saturday, July 3 last year.

Trial judge Kristina Montgomery had instructed the jury that they must reach a unanimous verdict, but that was changed to a majority decision on Wednesday morning.

Addressing Wieczorkowski after the announcement, the judge said he faced a life sentence but she will determine how long it will be before he can be released. He is due to appear for sentencing next Thursday.

In their closing speeches on Monday, before the jury was sent out to consider their verdict the barristers for the prosecution and defence had made their final arguments before the jury retired to consider its verdict.

Michelle Heeley QC, prosecuting, said the broken bottle had been thrust with such force that it went into the victim’s neck up to 7.5cm.

She said: “This defendant is the man responsible for that injury. It was not an act of reasonable self-defence.”

Ms Heeley said the defendant could not account for shards of glass being caught on top of the fence, and his account of events could not explain how the glass had got so far into Mr Kurdziel’s neck.

“The only thing Mr Kurdziel said was ‘what’s up’? That does not justify the level of violence.”

Police closed off the park in the hours after the attack

And after the incident, Ms Heeley said: “He sauntered away as Dawid Kurdziel bled out on the street.

“He carried on drinking without a care in the world. Then he ran away to Scotland.”

Mr Kurdziel collapsed outside the Blue Elephant, in Holyhead Road, Ketley.

He was taken away by ambulance but pronounced dead on the way to hospital.

David Mason, QC, defending, said there are “two sides to this terrible story. Robert Wieczorkowski could never have imagined that it would end in tragedy”.

He said his client had been celebrating being given a full-time contract and had not wanted to attract trouble.

Mr Kurdziel collapsed outside the Blue Elephant, in Holyhead Road
Floral tributes to Dawid Kurdziel after his death

After Wieczorkowski was convicted, West Mercia Police's Detective Inspector Lee Holehouse said: “This was a totally unprovoked attack against an innocent young man who posed no threat.

“Hopefully this verdict and the sentence to come will help Dawid’s family to move on with their lives.

“We would like to thank the public for their help in our investigations.

“Work is always ongoing to prevent violent crime and bring those responsible for it to justice.

“We urge anyone with any concerns about violent crime to please get in touch. We review all reports we receive and by working together we can keep our communities safe.”

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