Leeds & West Yorkshire

Daria Pionko death: Lewis Pierre jailed for murder

Lewis Pierre Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Lewis Pierre attacked and killed Daria Pionko to steal her money for food, drugs and cigarettes

A man who killed a sex worker in a "selfish and brutal" attack for £80 has been jailed for life.

Daria Pionko, 21, was found seriously injured in Springwell Road, Holbeck, Leeds, in December 2015 and died later in hospital.

Lewis Pierre, 24, of Meanwood, Leeds, was convicted of murder following a trial at the city's crown court.

Mr Justice Goss told Pierre he would serve at least 22 years in jail for murder.

In sentencing, he said: "It was a selfish and brutal attack which ended the life of a vibrant young Polish woman who had been in this country 10 months."

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Miss Pionko's mother, Lydia, said in a statement her daughter was a "kind-hearted" and "joyful girl".

"She was popular and always eager to help others," she said.

"We are pleased her murderer has been convicted though nothing will bring our daughter back."

'Sickening attack'

Miss Pionko had gone out to work in a so-called "managed red light area" of Leeds on 22 December.

Pierre, a lorry driver's assistant, attacked her in order to steal her money, the court heard.

Her blood was later found on his steel toe-capped boots. With the £80 he took from the 21-year-old, he bought cigarettes, food and cannabis.

Miss Pionko was found by a friend and was pronounced dead in hospital the following day.

Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Daria Pionko had only come the UK 10 months before she was killed

Mr Justice Goss told Pierre: "In your disregard for her as a person and driven by your own selfish desires, her life ended in the miserable circumstances I have just described."

He also ordered Pierre to serve a concurrent eight-year sentence for robbery.

West Yorkshire Police described Pierre as a "dangerous individual" who had targeted Miss Pionko.

Det Supt Simon Atkinson said: "When she bravely resisted he launched a sickening and violent attack which left her fatally wounded.

"He then callously left her dying and walked away to spend the money he had stolen from her."

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