A TEENAGER, found guilty of killing Arek Jozwik in Harlow has been sentenced to three years in detention.
The sixteen-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, killed Arkadiusz Jozwik with a single punch in The Stow area of the town in August 2016.
The sixteen year old appeared in the dock at Chelmsford Crown Court in front of a packed gallery that included members of his family, friends as well as a large press gallery.
The youth was dressed in black trousers and a white shirt.
In front of Judge Patricia Lynch. QC, sentencing proceedings were opened by prosecutor, Rosina Cottage QC.
Judge Lynch had made it clear to the press that all details except the defendant’s name could be referred to.
Reference to two previous convictions by the defendant were made. Both committed since the killing of Mr Jozwik. They also detailed that he was on bail at the time of the killing.
The two offences were: the possession of an offensive weapon and threatening and intimidation of police officers. But later on, Judge Lynch said she had “disregarded them” in sentencing.
Two victim impact statements were read out in court. One from Arek Jozwik’s brother, Radek, and one from his mother, Ewa.
His brother’s statement spoke of the overwhelming loss and sense of grief for his brother. The statement described a loving uncle who played football with his nephew.
Radek Jozwik detailed his health problems since the killing as well as sense of fear that prompted him to install CCTV in his house.
Arek’s mother’s statement was read out as well. Ewa Jozwik referred to seeing her son in the hospital and wishing he would wake up. Her statement said: “I just want to hug him again.”
Mrs Jozwik said that she still visits The Stow, where his portrait remains.
“He wanted to stay here and he is buried here. At his funeral, people who knew him remembered him as a good, calm person. ‘You were a dream, now you are a memory’ are the words we placed on his gravestone.
Ms Cottage QC then referred back to the case and sentencing guidelines. She said the case showed “no serious harm was intended by the punch but harm was likely”.
But reference was once again made to the effect of alcohol had on the behaviour of Mr Jozwik and the other Polish male at the scene.
At the point, Judge Lynch spoke to refer to sentencing guidelines.
She said: “Each manslaughter case is taken on a case by case basis. For adults, a sentence between six and seven years is considered. Fo juveniles we may consider half to two-thirds.
“With juveniles, we have to take into consideration, the primary motive of rehabilitation”.
Defence councsel, Mr Upwood QC, then rose to speak. Again, he referred to the case and stated that “death was not due to the punch but the head of Mr Jozwik hitting the ground.”
“When the defendant was arrested, there were no marks on his hands”
He also referred to the conduct of Mr Jozwik and others in being “worse for drink, making racist remarks and they were considerably bigger and stronger than the youths.”
Mr Upwood made detailed reference to the family background of the defendant, describing a troubled family background. He also referred to the state of health of the defendant’s father.
Referring to psychological tests, Mr Upwood stressed that they detailed a youth that recognised what he had done and was remorseful. He was “polite and honest…he had a sense of disbelief at what had happened but also felt for Mr Jozwik’s family.”
Judge Lynch then began her sentencing and once again referred to the guidelines.
She said: “Arek Jozwik’s death was a tragic event of a decent man in his prime of life.”
But the overarching principles of sentencing one so young as you, who was just sixteen in July is of rehabilitation.
“The reports refer to your remorse and sense of responsibility for what you did”.
(On both the occasions, the defendant nodded in response).
“Your psychological report describes a person much younger than fifteen years of age.
“But this is a crime so serious that I must impose a custodial sentence and it is of one of three years detention”.
As the judge rose, there were emotional outbursts from members of the guilty parties family.
There will be further reaction to follow.
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