BARRISTERS defending two men accused of burying a woman alive have claimed the soil and wood she was covered with were not heavy enough to trap her.
Huddersfield mum Michelina Lewandowska, 27, was shot with a stun gun, tied up with packing tape and buried in a box in woods near Woodsome Hall Golf Club on May 28, 2011.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court has already heard how she escaped her shallow grave by hacking the tape away with her engagement ring.
She then managed to kick an “escape hatch” out of the cardboard box and burst through the soil above to freedom.
Her then fiance Marcin Kasprzak, of Penistone Road, Fenay Bridge, and his friend Patryk Borys, of Rashcliffe Hill Road, Thornton Lodge, stand accused of attempted murder. But yesterday, counsel for Kasprzak, Julian Goose QC, said the hole Miss Lewandowska had been placed in was not particularly secure.
West Yorkshire Police Scenes Of Crime Officer Carl Akeroyd told the court he had found the old computer box covered by a sizeable mound of soil and leaf litter with some compacted soil. On top of the mound was a 40kg log.
He said it was his impression the defendants had tried to dig down but had given up and reverted to piling stuff on top of the box.Related content
He said his team had carefully excavated the site and had found the box had collapsed under the weight of the soil.
He also said they had taken away 20 to 25 bags of material that had been covering the box, but could not say how much it weighed.
But Mr Goose said the log placed on top of the grave had been resting on a bank and had not been directly on top of Miss Lewandowska.
He said: “You can’t say how heavy the material (on top of the box) was. The majority of the material you found was loose leaf material. That’s a fairly light soil, one can say it’s not terribly thick.
“You suggest the reason the box collapsed was because of the weight on top, but this is after the box was torn allowing Michelina to escape.
“I would suggest the box was not as sound and strong once Michelina tears her way out of it.”
The jury was also given a transcript of a Facebook chat conversation Kasprzak had with a colleague from Country Park Foods on New Hey Road.
During the online chat on May 16, almost two weeks before the alleged incident, Kasprzak confided in his friend Andrew Wilkins, telling him that he had split up with Miss Lewandowska. The chat was sparked after Kasprzak changed his Facebook relationship status to “single”.
When Mr Wilkins asked him why he had done it, he said: “I’m not going to put ‘It’s complicated’ (another Facebook status option) because it’s not.
“I’m not with her anymore ... we had a small talk.” “Is she still living with you?” asked Mr Wilkins.
Kasprzak said: “Yes, but not for long. In a few weeks we are going to live separately. You’re the first person to know about this but be quiet for now.”
Earlier the jury was shown images of Miss Lewandowska’s injuries, which included a number of scratches to her neck and one to her back.
Reading from a medical report, Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said: “The injuries to her head and neck were consistent with the use of a Taser gun and adhesive tape.”
Mr Sharp added: “The findings of tenderness, bruising and abrasions on her back are consistent with struggling in a small, confined space.”
The trial continues.