Dariusz Michalowski: Two jailed over murder of man found in shallow grave in Halifax
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The remains of Dariusz Michalowski were discovered by police in woods off Hays Lane in Mixenden in December 2020.
Mr Michalowski, from Huddersfield, had disappeared in Birkby in March 2011,
Today at Leeds Crown Court, Adam Tolwinski, aged 39 of Devonshire Street in Keighley, and Ernest Weber, aged 46 of no fixed abode, were both sentenced to life with a minimum term of 33 years for Mr Michalowski’s murder, preventing a legal burial and for perverting the course of justice in covering up the crime.
A third man – Piotr Weber, aged 43 of Bridgend Close in Middlesborough – was sentenced to six years for perverting the course of justice and preventing a legal burial.
During a lengthy trial, the court heard that Mr Michalowski had family links with the Weber brothers in Poland through marriage, and had associated with them and Tolwinski, among other members of the Polish community, in West Yorkshire.
This included some casual work for Ernest Weber and Tolwinski in a garage in Huddersfield which the men owned.
Police said both had in the past assaulted him and on March 13, they went to see him in his flat on Macauley Road in Huddersfield while under the influence of drink and drugs.
The two confronted him, believing he had passed on information about illegal activity they were involved in and, over the hours that followed, they beat, tortured and then killed their victim.
The men then took his body to a rural area they knew in Mixenden where they left his it, said police.
Piotr Weber was made aware of what had taken place the next day and took a leading role in subsequent efforts to properly bury the body and create a false trail for police to make it look as if Mr Michalowski had disappeared.
Detective Superintendent Tony Nicholson, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team – who led the 2020 reinvestigation, said this was an “appalling set of crimes committed against a vulnerable, isolated man.”
“Dariusz was subjected to a horrific assault intended to brutalise and degrade him in the most sadistic fashion. It is hard to comprehend what was going through the minds of those who carried it out,” he said.
“All parties then became involved in a detailed plot to cover up the murder and dispose of Dariusz’s body in an isolated rural location, denying him a burial and denying his relatives any awareness of what had happened to their loved one.
“Frankly, it is hard to think of a more callous set of circumstances in which this poor man could be treated, especially by people who were his close associates.
“I am pleased we have been able to secure some justice for Dariusz and provide some answers for his family.
“All unsolved serious offences in West Yorkshire are subject to review and this case again demonstrates that no matter how long ago an offence was committed, we will always seek to bring those responsible to justice.”