Essex crime: Man found guilty of manslaughter after brutally attacking and killing friend in ‘drink-fuelled rage’

A man has been found guilty of manslaughter after attacking his friend in a “drink-fuelled rage” and killing him.

Wojciech Miecznikowski and Lucasz Kustra, both Polish nationals, had both been homeless in Southend together, spending their time drinking around Hamlet Court Road and Westcliff Library.

In the six weeks up to the day of the attack, on September 22 last year, the pair had spent a lot of time together, staying in the same areas and begging together.

Read more: Man stabbed to death in Basildon named for the first time

However, on the morning of September 22, the pair got into a heated argument after buying alcohol and moving to near Hamlet Court Road and Westcliff Library.

Kustra began to assault Wojciech, also 37, after he became suspicious he had taken another man’s mobile phone.

Kustra kicked and punched Wojciech so hard he knocked him to the floor and continued to beat him while he lay there.

Emergency services were called to the scene and rushed the victim to Royal London Hospital where he sadly died five days later.

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The 37-year-old was hit 24 times with a post-mortem confirming he had died as a result of severe blunt force head trauma.

Kustra, 37, of no fixed address, was initially arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent but following Wojciech’s death, was re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

During an interview with police, he admitted to spending the days before the assault with Wojciech but denied kicking him. He was charged with murder but denied the charge.

After a two-week trial at Basildon Crown Court however, Kustra was guilty today (July 23) of manslaughter – but not guilty of murder.

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He’s due to be sentenced at the same court on a date in the last week of August.

Senior investigating officer, detective chief inspector Scott Egerton, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Lucasz Kustra attacked his friend in a drink fuelled rage, subjecting him to a sustained attack, ultimately culminating in his death.”

“His actions lead to fatal consequences and now faces a significant custodial sentence.

“This case highlights the impact drink and drugs can have and how abusing it can end up in tragedy or violence.”

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