Victim’s loved ones pay tribute to ‘beautiful’ Patrycja as killer boyfriend given a minimum of 20 years behind bars
The heartbroken brother of a woman murdered by her boyfriend has told of her gentleness and caring nature.
Seamy Wyrebek was speaking after Dawid Lukasz Mietus was told he must serve a minimum 20 years in prison for killing Patrycja Wyrebek.
The court heard there were previous reports of domestic abuse.
The younger brother of Ms Wyrebek, who moved from Poland to Northern Ireland with her family in 2006, said she had sent him a message months before the tragedy saying Mietus had threatened to kill her.
The 20-year-old was working in a Belfast care home when she met her murderer through Facebook.
She left her job and moved to Newry to live with him in December 2019.
He beat and strangled her to death on August 2, 2020, in a jealous rage.
He added to her family’s grief by claiming a “rough sex” defence. He told police he and Patrycja shared an interest in erotic asphyxiation and she had accidentally died during consensual sex.
“We knew [it] wasn’t true. The police were able to tell us she’d been beaten on the head with a heavy object,” Mr Wyrebek said.
“It still hurts that he said it. He tried to blacken my sister’s name. It didn’t work. We knew what he said wasn’t true.”
As he imposed a life sentence, Mr Justice O’Hara noted the false claim that Patrycja had died in a sex game gone wrong, which the judge said was “an assault on her good name”.
On the day of the killing, Mietus cycled to his aunt’s house and said he had murdered Patrycja. Her partner walked the short distance to Mietus’s home, where he found Ms Wyrebek’s body in the bath.
Mietus was found with a knife a short time later in a neighbour’s garden. He was shot with a stun gun and arrested after a stand-off.
A post-mortem found Ms Wyrebek died of “compression of the neck in association with blunt force injuries of the head”. She suffered multiple injuries, including a broken nose and cheekbone, cut lips and extensive bruising to her head and face.
Mr Justice O’Hara said despite the varying accounts given by Mietus, it was clear he was “immature and jealous”, and a row about ex-partners after alcohol was consumed appeared to “trigger this gross and fatal attack”.
Newry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard the defendant moved here in February 2019 and met Ms Wyrebek that December. They moved in together soon after.
Police attended a domestic incident at the couple’s home in March 2020. There was a second violent incident at a family barbecue four months later.
The judge said victim impact statements had been filed by Ms Wyrebek’s father, stepmother and two of her four siblings, aged 10 and 17
He told the court Patrycja’s loved ones “had been, and remain, overwhelmed by loss they cannot comprehend”.
“They describe what a cheerful and happy young woman she was — close to her family and caring and loved,” he said.
“They miss her laughter and how she helped them in many different ways.”
After sentencing, Ms Wyrebek’s stepmother Iwona said the family had been left devastated.
“Patrycja was a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her and had so many plans for the future,” she added.
“She was a happy and beautiful person. She should be alive today to fulfil her plans and be with her family.
“Patrycja was a loving stepdaughter who I will love for ever. She will always be in my heart.”
Patrycja’s brother said his sister was caring and kind.
“She would always check on me, she’d call after work and bring me food,” he said.
“I don’t think the sentence is long enough — he should have got longer.
“Since Patrycja was murdered, I’ve had a son, Anthony Joseph Wyrebek. He’s four-and-a-half months old now. Patrycja always spoke about me having children, and now he’s here she never got to meet him and he’ll never know what a brilliant aunt he had.”
Justice Minister Naomi Long said a ban on the rough sex defence started on April 28.
“It’s now in statute and effective, something which I very much welcome.” she said.
“The attempt by those who seek to inflict serious injury or harm, up to and including death, on intimate partners and then try to hide behind the defence that it was ‘rough sex’ gone wrong, is a deliberate attempt to victim blame, to avoid taking responsibility for their violent conduct, and causes huge hurt and distress to grieving families.”