England

Man in Huddersfield 'buried alive' case jailed for 20 years

Marcin Kasprzak
Image caption Marcin Kasprzak conducted a "planned attempt to kill", Judge Peter Collier said

A man who buried his fiancee alive in a cardboard box has been jailed for 20 years for attempted murder.

Marcin Kasprzak, 26, attacked Michelina Lewandowska with a stun gun at their home in Penistone Road, Huddersfield, on 28 May last year.

Kasprzak was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court last month.

Patryk Borys, 18, of Rashcliffe Hill Road, Huddersfield, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in a young offenders institute for kidnap.

Borys was cleared of attempted murder but had admitted kidnap, as had Kasprzak.

Kasprzak also admitted possessing a prohibited weapon.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, said it was a "planned attempt to kill".

He said: "It was your intention that she should not be found and it was your intention that she would die there.

Image caption Michelina Lewandowska said she had been in the box for an hour

"The death you intended would have been long and slow. It is mind-numbingly awful to imagine the sort of death you intended her to die.

"I must have regard to the uniquely chilling nature of this case. As I have already observed, being buried alive must be one of the most dreadful ways to die that anyone can imagine."

Miss Lewandowska, 27, was attacked with a Taser, bound and gagged and buried under soil, leaves and an 88lb tree branch in woodland near the home she shared with Kasprzak.

She escaped from the box after about an hour by using her engagement ring to cut herself free.

Judge Collier said Kasprzak, who is Polish, "became unhappy" with fellow Pole Miss Lewandowska and wanted their three-year-old son, Jakub, who he thought was not being treated properly by his mother.

He said: "The problem you faced was that she would not go willingly and leave your child with you and your mother.

Image caption The victim escaped from the box by using her engagement ring to cut herself free

"So it was that you formed a plan to get rid of her.

"Fortunately, she escaped. Her raw determination to survive for the sake of your son is undoubtedly what saved her," he added.

Judge Collier also described how Kasprzak and Borys used Miss Lewandowska's bank card to withdraw £500 from a cash machine.

The victim has described how she still has nightmares.

In a statement after the trial, she said: "During my time inside my shallow grave where I was buried alive I feared that my life was at an end and I was going to die.

Kasprzak and Borys were both told they would serve half of their sentences before being eligible for release on licence.

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