Woman ‘murdered by lodger’ was found with chest injuries

The pensioner sustained 14 fractured ribs and a broken breastbone as well as collapsed lungs and a rupture to the heart.

Woman ‘murdered by lodger’ was found with chest injuries STV News

An elderly woman who was allegedly murdered by her lodger in her home was found to have sustained extensive chest injuries, a court heard on Tuesday.

Pensioner Jadwiga Szczygielska sustained 14 fractured ribs and a broken breastbone as well as collapsed lungs and a rupture to the heart.

A consultant forensic pathologist who carried out a post mortem on the 77-year-old told the High Court in Edinburgh that the autopsy examination determined that she died as a result of blunt force trauma of the chest.

Dr Ian Wilkinson agreed that a traffic collision would be one situation where he would expect to see such distribution of injuries.

The court heard that they could be in keeping with blunt force blows to the chest or the application of sustained blunt force pressure.

He was giving evidence at the trial of Roman Frackiewicz who has denied murdering Ms Szczygielska at the flat where they lived in Pirniefield Bank, Seafield, in Edinburgh on April 17 last year.

It is alleged that he assaulted her at her home and repeatedly inflicted or caused to be inflicted blunt force injuries to her head and body by means to the prosecutor unknown and murdered her.

The court heard in agreed evidence that Frackiewicz, a refuse collector with Edinburgh council, is a Polish national who came to the UK in 2012 and for two years lived at her flat as her lodger.

The deceased was also Polish and came to Scotland about 2013 to live with her son. He had a workplace accident and returned to Poland but his mother stayed on in Scotland as she had made friends in the church community.

Frackiewicz shared the small flat with the pensioner, paying her £200 a month, while he slept in the bedroom and she bedded down on a sofa.

He remained in the flat overnight when she died and she was uninjured when she attended on the afternoon of April 17.

The following morning an employee with a community alarm service took a call from him and he said he needed an ambulance as he thought she was dead.

Frackiewicz also made a call to an acquaintance and said “Jadwiga has passed away”. The phone was passed to a man and Frackiewicz told him something like that he had found her in the kitchen and it was “probably a heart attack”.

Paramedics arrived to find her lying on her back on the kitchen floor. She was cold to the touch and rigor mortis had set in.

One of the police officers who attended the scene said Frackiewicz told him they had been drinking the previous evening before going to bed separately and he had found the deceased on the floor in the morning.

The trial before Lord Braid continues.