Murder jury hears from factory boss

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The boss of a Holbeach factory worker has given evidence at the trial of a Boston man accused of murdering him.

The boss of a Holbeach factory worker has given evidence at the trial of a Boston man accused of murdering him.

Janusz Smoderek (48) was allegedly stabbed to death by Stephen Sleaford (38) after he went to help a girl who was being “molested” by the father-of-three.

A jury at Lincoln Crown Court has heard how Smoderek went to a Boston lap dancing club after finishing his shift at Intergreen in Holbeach.

Toxicology tests showed he was almost three times over the drink-drive limit when his body was found in Sleaford Road, Boston, the next morning.

The prosecution accept Sleaford acted in a “lawful and praise worthy” manner when he and another man separated Smoderek from the teenager who was targeted as she walked home alone at 4am.

Having intervened it is alleged Sleaford then knifed Smoderek in the chest as they wrestled on the floor – but the court was told Sleaford denies stabbing Smoderek and claims it was the Pole with a knife.

Intergreen production manager Paulo Olivera told the jury Smoderek would have used a “safety knife” during his job unpacking flowers.

Mr Olivera said: “We do use safety knives to cut the straps around the boxes.”

But he insisted the company has a strict policy on the use of knives.

“No tools are allowed to be brought on the premises,” Mr Olivera added. “To get a safety knife it needs to be signed for and it is checked every half hour by the line supervisor and at the end of the day.

“Every employee is informed of this in their own 
language.”

Home Office pathologist Professor Guy Rutty who examined Smoderek’s body told the court he had five stab wounds to his chest, one of which was 16cms long and had penetrated his right lung.

But Professor Rutty said Smoderek’s death was caused by another wound which left a hole in his heart leading to fatal internal bleeding.

Professor Rutty said “moderate force” would have been needed to inflict the wounds.

The jury heard a bruise consistent with Smoderek receiving one punch was found on his face but there was no evidence of any defensive injuries from a knife. Other injuries to Smoderek’s body could be explained by him falling through a hedge.

Sleaford, of no fixed address, denies murdering Janusz Smoderek on September 11, 2011.

The trial, which is expected to last four weeks, continues.