Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#Jersey stabbings:First images of the family stabbed to death in St.Helier over the week-end

  • Police wait to question Damian Rzeszowska, 30, at hospital in St Helier
  • Suspect allegedly stabbed his wife Izabela, daughter Kinga and Kacper
  • Family friend describes them as 'almost the perfect family'
  • Suspected killer 'suicidal over marriage breakdown'
  • Neighbours 'fought off mumbling killer with traffic cone'
  • Six-year-old girl and 18-month-old boy among the dead
  • Attack happened in one of the 'safest places in the western world'
These are the first pictures of the man who allegedly killed four members of his family and two others during a knife attack in St Helier.


Damian Rzeszowska is pictured posing with his daughter Kinga and son Kacper in a series of images that appear to show a happy family.

He is also pictured alongside his wife Izabela, who also died in yesterday's attack.

It was revealed earlier today that the suspected knifeman had been suicidal over the breakdown of his marriage to Izabela before the killings, according to neighbours.
Detectives are waiting to question the 30-year-old suspect in hospital over the murders of his wife, the two children and her father.

A family friend and her young child were also understood to be among the victims of the horror attack which has rocked the island.




Victims: Izabela Rzeszowska, top left, the couple's two children daughter Kinga and son Kacper, alongside Damian Rzeszowska, who has been arrested in connection with the alleged murder
Victims: Izabela Rzeszowska, top left, the couple's two children daughter Kinga and son Kacper, alongside Damian Rzeszowska, who has been arrested in connection with the alleged murder

Damian Rzeszowska with his Kacper
Damian Rzeszowska holds his daughter Kinga
Damian Rzeszowska holds his son Kacper and daughter Kinga
Sleeping beauties: Kacper and Kinga Rzeszowska sleep soundly at the home in Jersey
Sleeping beauties: Kacper and Kinga Rzeszowska sleep soundly at the home in Jersey
Speaking tonight, a friend of Rzeszowski described him, his wife and two children as 'almost the perfect family'.
Source: Jersey Evening


Marlena, 27, said they had not seen the family since last September but had always been touched by how happy they were.

Mrs Bartus said: 'They were a lovely family, lovely kids. They were almost the perfect family.

'The children loved playing with their Mega Bloks and he used to push them in a trailer. The way we had seen him, he was a really good father.

'We spent two hours with them, it was a lovely atmosphere.'

Mr Bartus said: 'It is so sad, this is something that should not happen. There are lots of questions that need to be answered. It's such a tragedy. I can't understand why the kids were involved. This is not about them, they are innocent.'
Damian Rzeszowska and his wife sit together in a park. Neighbours claimed today the breakdown of their marriage led to the alleged stabbings
Damian Rzeszowska and his wife sit together in a park. Neighbours claimed today the breakdown of their marriage led to the alleged stabbings
This green tarpaulin covers an area at the back of the flat, where some of the victims' bodies were reportedly found
The victims of the crazed stabbing were living in the ground floor flat
A green tarpaulin covered an area at the rear of the victims' ground floor flat today, with some of the bodies reportedly found in the area
Earlier today, other friends told how they fended off the 'mumbling' attacker with a traffic cone before he turned his knife on himself.

 
The attack spilled from a flat and into the street yesterday afternoon in an area described by a detective as 'one of the safest places in the western world'.
One local, who did not want to be named, said the suspect had apparently been rowing with his wife recently and had allegedly tried to take an overdose last month.

Another resident in the same block of flats in St Helier claimed he saw a man chasing a woman with a knife before then stabbing himself in the chest.

Bryan Ogesa, 24, said he and his two friends used a traffic cone to try to defend themselves as the man then came towards them. As he ran away he saw the body of another man lying in the doorway of the flat with a knife sticking out of his back.
Sealed off: The scene in St Helier where six people from two families were stabbed to death yesterday, including three children
Sealed off: The scene in St Helier where six people from two families were stabbed to death yesterday, including three children

Tragic: A young boy lays flowers in St Helier, Jersey after six people including a six-year-old girl and 18-month-old boy were killed
Tragic: A young boy lays flowers in St Helier, Jersey after six people including a six-year-old girl and 18-month-old boy were killed
Mr Ogesa, who ran outside after hearing screaming, said: 'A man was chasing a woman with a knife, it was quite long.'
He said he had first seen another woman lying on the ground and had gone to help her as he thought she had simply fallen over.
'She was responsive, but just mumbling,' he said. 'That's when the guy started coming towards us. He was mumbling as well.'
Another man, who would give only his first name of John, said he had been in his garden nearby and ran to the scene after hearing a woman scream.
'She shouted "please help me, please God help me",' he said.
Tributes: Police collect flowers left at the flat in St Helier, Jersey where a knifeman attacked two families leaving six dead
Tributes: Police collect flowers left at the flat in St Helier, Jersey where a knifeman attacked two families leaving six dead
Scene: The stabbings took place at a flat in Victoria Crescent in St Helier at around 3pm yesterday afternoon
Scene: The stabbings took place at a flat in Victoria Crescent in St Helier at around 3pm yesterday afternoon
Mike Bowron, chief officer for Jersey Police, called for local communities to remain 'dignified and calm' as he said all the victims, who have not been named, were from Poland and four were from the same family.

JERSEY'S HISTORY OF CRIME

St Helier is the capital of the Jersey islands and is popular for tourists and financiers.
 

It has a low rate of income tax - 20 per cent - shifting its traditional industries of agriculture, fishing and knitwear to be all but sidelined.
It is home to 45 banks and 33,000 registered companies.

In 2008, the island became the focus of one of the largest child abuse investigations ever conducted in the British Isles.

It was launched after more than 100 former residents of the Haut de la Garenne care home came forward to report historic abuse by members of staff.

Police excavated a number of sites at the former Victorian school and orphanage, dubbed by the media as the 'house of horrors', discovering a network of secret underground chambers where victims alleged they were abused.

The multimillion-pound investigation led to a handful of convictions including those of former house parents Morag and Anthony Jordan who were jailed in June for assaulting child residents and former carer Gordon Wateridge who was jailed for a string of sex attacks during the 1970s.

Crime in Jersey reached a 10-year low earlier this year.

Just under 1,600 crimes were recorded in the first five months of 2011, an 11 per cent drop compared to the same period last year and nearly a third less than in 2004, according to The States of Jersey Police.

The force currently employs 236 police officers and about 90 civilian staff.
'Jersey is an incredibly safe place, one of the safest in the western world, and incidents of this nature are exceptionally rare,' he said in a statement.

'It makes such a tragedy even more difficult for people to come to terms with, and no-one could fail to be affected by the events that unfolded here yesterday.

'Inevitably, perhaps, such an incident will raise tensions locally and I would appeal to everyone to remain calm and dignified and allow my officers to continue with what is a complex, demanding and difficult investigation.'

The victims include a six-year-old girl and an 18-month-old boy - and were all of Polish descent, the country's embassy in London said.

The other two to die were a mother and daughter. The alleged killer is also Polish and related to four of the victims, Jersey Police said today.

After having life-saving surgery, a 30-year-old man was arrested in hospital on suspicion of murder. He had apparently tried to kill himself.

Inquiries were continuing to establish a motive but it is understood no-one else was being sought over the attacks.

Neighbours said the families lived together in a large, rented Victorian flat in St Helier, the Channel island’s capital.

Jersey Hospital’s emergency department, which is a five-minute drive away, was temporarily closed to other patients as doctors dealt with the victims.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, said: 'I was deeply saddened and shocked by yesterday's tragic events and I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to the friends and relatives of those involved.

'This is now a police inquiry and we fully support States of Jersey Police officers as they carry out their investigations.

Eye-witnesses saw bodies being brought out of the house that were clearly those of children
Eye-witnesses saw bodies being brought out of the house that were clearly those of children
A forensics officer attends the scene in Victoria Crescent, St Helier, Jersey
An armed police officer stands outside the address
Investigation: A forensic officer walks close to the scene, while armed police stood guard following the killings

A crowd gathered outside the address in St Helier as the police investigation into what happened got underway
A crowd gathered outside the address in St Helier as the police investigation into what happened got underway
Police say a violent attack like this in quiet Jersey is extremely rare, especially when it happened in such a secluded place like Victoria Crescent, St Helier
Police say a violent attack like this in quiet Jersey is extremely rare, especially when it happened in such a secluded place like Victoria Crescent, St Helier

'I have every confidence in the ability and professionalism of our police force in handling this investigation. We must now avoid speculation and allow them to continue with this important work.
PA graphic on stabbings in Jersey
'Jersey is a very safe place and events of this terrible nature are very rare. This has greatly shocked the island's community. Many will need support and counselling in the days ahead and we will ensure this is provided.

'I would like to thank emergency services and especially paramedics and hospital staff for their tireless work yesterday.

'I would also like to thank the parish of St Helier for opening the town hall to help the community at this tragic time.

'It reinforces the importance of the parish at the centre of island life and the strength of our community.'

Last night police were interviewing several witnesses and attempting to trace other relatives to help identify the victims.

Forensic officers were examining the scene, a vehicle had been covered outside and the street remained sealed off.

The attack took place in a secluded street which lies some way from a main road and which is made up of a row of three-storey Victorian properties.

Mr Gull, who is leading the inquiry, moved to Jersey four months ago after retiring from Suffolk Police.

He was the public face of the investigation that led to the capture of Ipswich serial killer Steve Wright.

Awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2009, he is one of the UK’s most experienced officers in investigating murders and other violent crimes.