Judge jails 'evil' killer for life
A judge has said he was close to tears as he jailed a murderer who he branded "cold-blooded" and "evil beyond belief" for a brutal hammer and knife attack on an elderly couple in their own home.
Ireneusz Bartnowski, 22, who had only arrived in the UK two weeks before the murders, battered and stabbed Guiseppe and Caterina Massaro before looting their Wolverhampton home, stealing two televisions and their car.
Mr Massaro, 80, and his 77-year-old wife were found dead on their bedroom floor by their granddaughter Lindsey Booth, 24, who branded the Polish killer "a vile human being", adding: "We hope the very moments that have confined him (in prison) will torment and disturb his corrupted mind every moment of every day."
Bartnowski, who had been staying with his sister next door to the Massaros, had denied killing the couple in April last year, blaming the murders on his friend Wojciech Ostolski.
He was found guilty of two counts of murder by a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court and sentenced to two life sentences, each with a 34-year minimum tariff. The terms will run concurrently.
Ostolski, 32, of Chervil Rose, Heath Town, Wolverhampton, was cleared of handling stolen goods.
Mr Justice MacDuff told Bartnowski: "You broke into their home after dusk and, armed with a claw hammer and a knife, you bludgeoned and stabbed them both to death.
"You showed no mercy, no compassion. You left them dead upon their bedroom floor and you set about stripping them of their valuables. You stole their money, you carried two televisions into their car and you drove that car away.
"You went out with your friends to a supermarket and you used the cash you had stolen from them to buy drink. You have told this court breathtaking lies in an attempt to escape justice. But you did not fool this jury."
The judge - who commended the jury for reaching "the correct verdict" - added: "You lack all humanity, you are evil beyond belief."