Murder trial: Police called to family home nine days before Halifax mum died

The scene in Illingworth and Monika Lasek, inset
The scene in Illingworth and Monika Lasek, inset

A 36-year-old mum-of-three was stabbed to death at her Halifax home nine days after police were called out to deal with a domestic incident at the terraced property.

A murder trial jury heard that officers asked Monika Lasek to provide a formal statement, but she refused to do that even though she made it clear she wanted her husband Zbigniew to move out of the premises.

During a police interview Lasek said their relationship had broken down, but he had been trying to work things out and prosecutor Peter Moulson QC said no further action could be taken at that stage in view of the lack of a formal complaint.

Lasek has denied murdering his wife on the morning of November 26 last year when she was found with stab wounds in the hallway of their home on Solstice Way, Illingworth.

Opening the case to the jury Mr Moulson said there was history of domestic violence in the case, but the majority was unreported by Monika to the police.

He alleged that the defendant's drinking had escalated in the months leading up to the killing and the deceased had told him she wanted to end their relationship in May or June last year.

Mr Moulson said that both parties had had affairs and he suggested that that knowledge and the breakdown of the relationship may have been the motive for the murder.

The jury were told that they would hear evidence about constant arguments between the couple and Lasek's "controlling behaviour" towards his wife.

It is also alleged that Lasek made direct threats towards his wife and hit her on several occasions.

Mr Moulson alleged that on one occasion Lasek told his wife:"If you don't want to be with me you're not going to be with anyone."

He said another witness alleged that Lasek told his wife she was going to "end up dead".

Lasek, 36, is alleged to have murdered his wife with a carving knife while they were in the house alone that Sunday morning.

After neighbours were alerted and forced their way into the locked house they found Mrs Lasek's body on the floor of the hallway and Lasek with a cord or flex around his neck.

Mr Moulson said the ligature was removed and he alleged that Lasek had then faked his level of unconsciousness when paramedics arrived at the scene.

The defendant also had a number of superficial knife injuries to his neck and limbs, but Mr Moulson said expert evidence would suggest that they had been self inflicted.

"In short the Crown's position is that he was all about pretence," said Mr Moulson.

"He was thinking even then how to avoid responsibility for the murder of his wife."

After his arrest Lasek claimed that his wife had "punched him", but Mr Moulson told the jury that the defendant was now submitting that his wife had attacked him with the knife and he acted in self defence or had somehow lost his self control.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.