Four years in jail for mother who stabbed abusive partner to death
A mother-of-two who stabbed her partner through the heart during a violent row just hours after their son's christening has been jailed for four years.
Aneta Sadowska sobbed uncontrollably as she was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court for killing her boyfriend Marek Seweryn (37) in their Omagh home in December 2008.
The 36-year-old stabbed her partner — who, it is claimed, was often violent towards her — with two knives in the chest and stomach during a drunken row.
Sadowska pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Psychiatric reports to the court said that Sadowska’s “experiences of trauma and abuse over the years” led to her suffering from “an abnormality of mind” at the time of the killing.
The court heard that the Polish national’s upbringing was characterised by violence, including sexual violence. During her childhood she was “subjected to and witnessed much physical violence” and in her adolescence she was subjected to “two traumatic incidents during which it appears that she was nearly raped”.
She suffered from physical and verbal abuse from her violent husband in Poland and “felt humiliated by his apparent infidelity”, before trying to make a new life for herself in Northern Ireland after the marriage broke down.
Sadowska met Mr Seweryn while living in Northern Ireland and they set up home together at Hospital Road in Omagh.
Although he was “a good and calm man” at the start of the relationship, the court heard that when he lost his job he drank heavily and was “of a jealous and controlling disposition”.
Their relationship was filled with arguments “as a result of, amongst other matters, his violence towards her and the incessant sexual demands he made upon her”, the court heard.
On the night he was killed, Sadowska, Mr Seweryn and his brother, who had travelled from Poland for the christening, were drinking heavily in the house. A row broke out between Sadowska and Mr Seweryn over his lack of a job and the fact he used Sadowska’s money to buy alcohol.
He then told her that she had “bad blood” because of the area in Poland she was from and that she should cut herself. As the argument got out of control, Sadowska struck out with the two knives.
Judge Mr Justice Hart told the court he was satisfied that Sadowska’s “minimal responsibility for the crime is considerable, notwithstanding that she was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time”.
He added, however: “That is not to say that she does not bear some responsibility for her actions”.
Due to remission and time spent on remand, Sadowska will likely be freed from jail in 18 months, when she will begin a three-year period on probation.
The judge told her he was not going to order her deportation upon her release because her young son was in the care of foster parents in Northern Ireland.
Two of Sadowska’s friends wept as she was led from the dock and Mr Justice Hart granted them permission to speak to her before she was transferred to the women’s prison at Hydebank Wood.
Following the sentencing Sadowska’s lawyer Robert Murtagh said the circumstances of the case are “particularly tragic”.
“Our client has witnessed violence and abuse from her early childhood,” he said.
“Despite coming here to start a new life, she still was unable to find the sanctuary that she was seeking.”