This is the chilling moment a jealous husband ‘intercepted’ his estranged wife in the street before taking her to his flat where he stabbed her more than 30 times in an ‘utterly terrifying’ attack.
Pawel Chmielecki, 40, repeatedly knifed Marta Chmelecka, 31, in the face and neck after she refused to rekindle their relationship before wrapping her body in a bloodstained duvet.
She was found four days later when police were alerted by her family after they received suspicious text messages suggesting someone else was using her phone.
When they raided the flat in Kettering, Northamptonshire, Chmielecki was lying beside her body bleeding heavily with a knife still in his neck from up to nine self-inflicted wounds.
He previously pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years at Northampton Crown Court.
Judge David Herbert KC told him: ‘It’s clear from the evidence that Marta was scared of you and was frightened you would end up killing her.
‘Those last moments of her life would have been utterly terrifying, as you stabbed her repeatedly in the neck.
‘You accept you intended to kill her and must then have watched her die lying in a pool of her own blood.’
Marta’s family listened from the public gallery as the judge sentenced Chmielecki, who wore a grey Nike tracksuit and gold chain in the dock, via a Polish interpreter.
The court heard the couple wed in Poland and moved to the UK in 2017 but Chmielecki had subjected his wife to domestic abuse.
Detectives found he was a ‘jealous, controlling man’ who had also stalked, made threats and been violent towards Marta since the end of their relationship.
Tragically, the court was told she was ‘starting to enjoy life again’ and was coming out of her shell before he murdered her.
She was planning divorce proceedings in Poland and had repeatedly messaged Chmielecki asking him to leave her alone.
On Friday, October 15, 2021, Marta had spent the evening socialising with friends before leaving on foot at around 10.40pm.
CCTV from the area released by police revealed she encountered Chmielecki before some sort of struggle broke out between them, with Marta ending up on the floor.
Afterwards she was visibly unsteady on her feet, with Chmielecki at one point appearing to hold her up in a bear-hug as they approached his home.
Having entered his rented room at about 10.56pm, the evidence showed Chmielecki took an image of her around five minutes later, showing her on the floor.
Around 90 minutes later, he took a further picture of messages between his victim and another man on her phone, and went on to send messages from the device to make it appear she was still alive.
Judge Herbert said of the killing: ‘It was a sustained and ferocious attack born entirely out of anger and jealousy.
‘Those last moments of her life would have been utterly terrifying.’
A post-mortem examination found she had a total of 32 sharp force injuries, including defensive wounds to her right hand and others to her shoulders, upper arms and chest.
The footage also showed the killer visiting a shop to buy six cans of beer two days after the murder, and police breaking down the door of his room to arrest him and discover Marta’s body.
Speaking after the case, Detective Superintendent Joe Banfield said: ‘Marta Chmielecka was a much-loved young woman looking forward to a bright future, which was extinguished by the violent actions of a jealous man.
‘Pawel Chmielecki did not want to accept the end of his relationship with Marta, and remained in contact with her despite her attempts to distance herself from him.
‘Tragically for Marta, Chmielecki’s efforts to maintain a hold over her culminated in his ferocious fatal attack, after which he stayed with her body in his room for almost four days, before he attempted to take his own life as police arrived.
‘Throughout our investigation, Chmielecki refused to co-operate and despite his admission of murder, attempted to control the court process by initially denying he had previously been physically abusive towards Marta.
‘For the sake of her loving family, who remain devastated by her death, I am glad Chmielecki now accepts his guilt on this as well, and I’m pleased to see him receive this significant prison term.’
Marta’s brother and sister-in-law, who attended the sentencing hearing, said in a statement: ‘Marta was exceptional. She was full of life, kind, cheerful, helpful and smart.
‘You never had to ask for her help, she was always just there for us, whatever we needed.
‘After her death, her father began stuttering and now finds it very hard to communicate. He has really suffered, we all have.
‘When Marta died, something beyond her died as well and none of us will ever be the same.’
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