The heartbroken brother of a woman murdered by her boyfriend spoke of her kindness and caring nature.
eamy Wyrebek was speaking after Dawid Lukasz Mietus was told he should serve a minimum of 20 years in prison for killing Patrycja Wyrebek.
The court heard that there were previous reports of domestic abuse.
Wyrebek’s younger brother, who moved from Poland to Northern Ireland with his family in 2006, said he sent her a message months before the tragedy that Mietus had threatened to kill her.
The 20-year-old was working at a Belfast nursing home when she met her killer through Facebook.
She quit her job and moved to Newry to live with him in December 2019.
He beat and strangled her to death on August 2, 2020, in a jealous rage.
He added to his family’s pain by claiming a “rough sex” defense. He told police that he and Patrycja shared an interest in erotic asphyxiation and that she died accidentally during consensual sex.
“We knew [it] it was not true. The police were able to tell us that she had been hit on the head with a heavy object,” Wyrebek said.
“It still hurts that he said that. He tried to tarnish my sister’s name. Did not work. We knew what he said was not true.”
In imposing a life sentence, Judge O’Hara noted the false claim that Patrycja had died in a sex game gone wrong, which the judge said was “an attack on her good name”.
On the day of the murder, Mietus rode a bicycle to his aunt’s house and said that he had murdered Patrycja. His partner walked the short distance to Mietus’ house, where he found Mrs. Wyrebek in the bath.
Mietus was found with a knife a short time later in a neighbor’s garden. He was shot with a stun gun and arrested after a standoff.
An autopsy found that Wyrebek died of “compression of the neck in association with blunt force injuries to the head”. She suffered multiple injuries, including a broken nose and cheek, split lips, and extensive bruising to her head and face.
Judge O’Hara said that despite Mietus’ various reports, it was clear that he was “immature and jealous”, and a fight over ex-partners after drinking alcohol appeared to “trigger this gross and fatal attack”.
Newry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard the defendant move here in February 2019 and met Wyrebek in December. They moved in together soon after.
Police attended to a domestic incident at the couple’s home in March 2020. There was a second violent incident at a family barbecue four months later.
The judge said the victims’ impact statements were filed by Wyrebek’s father, stepmother, and two of his four brothers, ages 10 and 17.
He told the court that Patrycja’s loved ones “have been and remain burdened by a loss they cannot understand”.
“They describe the joyful, happy young woman she was – close to her family, caring and loved,” he said.
“They miss her laughter and how she helped them in so many different ways.”
Following the sentencing, Wyrebek’s stepmother, Iwona, said the family was devastated.
“Patrycja was a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her and so many plans for the future,” he added.
“She was a happy and beautiful person. She should be alive today to fulfill her plans and be with her family.
“Patrycja was a loving stepdaughter that I will love forever. She will always be in my heart.”
Patrycja’s brother said that his sister was caring and kind.
“She would always check on me, call after work and bring me food,” he said.
“I don’t think the sentence is long enough – it should have been longer.
“Since Patrycja was murdered, I have had a son, Anthony Joseph Wyrebek. He is four and a half months old now. Patrycja has always talked about me having kids, and now that he’s here, she’s never met him and he’ll never know what a brilliant aunt he had.
Justice Minister Naomi Long said the ban on advocating violent sex began on April 28.
“It is now in statute and in effect, something I very much welcome.” she said.
“The attempt by those who seek to inflict serious injury or harm, including death, on intimate partners and then try to hide behind the defense that it was ‘rough sex’ that went wrong is a deliberate attempt to blame the victim, to avoid assuming responsibility for their violent conduct and cause great suffering and anguish to bereaved families”.