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Man who stabbed flatmate to death in own home jailed

Bohdan Cieslar knifed Aleksander Smerdel in the chest and arm at a block of flats in Aberdeen.

Jailed: Bohdan Cieslar. Police Scotland

A man who stabbed his flatmate to death in the home they shared has been jailed for nine years.

Bohdan Cieslar, 60, had denied murdering Aleksander Smerdel, 44, in December last year at Donside Court, Aberdeen, by striking him in the chest and arm with a knife.

He had claimed he acted in self-defence however, a jury rejected these claims and convicted him of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Cieslar was jailed for nine years at the High Court in Edinburgh on Thursday.

The trial heard that the pair, who also worked together, had “a bit of a love-hate relationship” prior to the fatal attack.

Cieslar claimed Mr Smerdel came into his bedroom uninvited after drinking heavily.

He said at the time of the killing, the victim went to grab him by the neck and he fell onto a computer table while he had a knife in his right hand.

He claimed Mr Smerdel lost his balance and fell next to him and he thought the blade went into his stomach.

Cieslar told the court he would never think of taking Mr Smerdel on in a fight, claiming was stronger, heavier and younger than he was.

When asked whether he struck him with the knife, he replied: “According to everything, yes.”

He said: “I wasn’t aware it was fatal. I thought the he was maybe on his way to pick up tools. He attacked me in the past with these.”

He added: “I was in shock. It just took a split second to turn my whole life around.”

Lord Pentland said he accepted Cieslar’s relationship with the victim was “a challenging and unstable one” and the deceased could become aggressive and bullying when intoxicated.

He said: “You have expressed remorse and have some insight of the impact of your crime on others.”


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