Peter Avis jeweller raid: Four jailed after botched burglary

Collis & Son jewellers, Bury St Edmunds
Image caption Peter Avis was found dead in the flat above his shop in Abbeygate Street

Four people who aided a burglary which ended in the murder of a "vulnerable and frail" jeweller have been jailed.

Peter Avis, 66, was found murdered in his flat above his Collis & Son shop in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in January.

Kamel Kita, 21; Pawel Pacian, 35; Pawel Borowiecki, 31, and Aleksandra Karpiuk, 27, were jailed at Ipswich Crown Court for their part in the botched burglary.

Ireneusz Melaniuk, 28, who previously pleaded guilty to Mr Avis' murder, had his sentencing postponed.

Kita, of no fixed address, admitted burglary and was jailed for three years.

Pacian, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, admitted handling goods stolen during the burglary and was ordered to serve 18 months.

Borowiecki, of Roslyn Road, Tottenham, London, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle after a two-week trial and jailed for five years.

Karpiuk, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle and assisting an offender and was given four years.

'Beaten and stabbed'

Melaniuk, who was on the run from a Polish prison at the time of the killing, will be sentenced at a later date.

Police said Mr Avis had been stabbed 13 times and beaten with a glass ash tray in what was later described as a burglary gone wrong.

Mr Avis, who lived alone, had suffered a brain aneurysm about 20 years ago and relied on a walking stick and frame to move about.

Melaniuk, who was arrested after fleeing back to his home country of Poland, later admitted murdering the jeweller.

Prosecutor Peter Gair said that during the raid the flat and shop were "ransacked, soiled and vandalised".

He added that Mr Avis was found in his bed and had been dead for some hours after being "beaten and stabbed".

The court heard only Kita played an active part in the burglary.

Following the raid the rest of the group helped dispose of the stolen items, which included jewellery and ornaments insured for more than £17,000, the court heard.

Judge John Devaux said Mr Avis had been deliberately targeted because of his vulnerability.

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