Worker killed in knife attack

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A man stabbed a Holbeach flower packer to death after going to the aid of a young woman who was walking home after a drunken night out.

Stephen Sleaford (38) is alleged to have knifed Janusz Smoderek (48) in the heart after going to help the woman who was receiving “unwanted attention” from the father-of-three.

A murder trial jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told Sleaford acted lawfully at first when he and another man separated Mr Smoderek from the woman after coming across them on their way home from a pub in Boston.

But Tim Spencer, QC, prosecuting told the court Sleaford then pulled out a knife and stabbed Mr Smoderek when he was no longer a threat.

Mr Smoderek’s body was found around three hours later in a garden on Sleaford Road. He had spent the day socialising in Boston after finishing his shift at Intergreen in Holbeach.

A post mortem showed Mr Smoderek, who lived in Boston, had suffered six stab wounds including one injury which had “pierced” his heart.

Mr Spencer told the jury: “On Sunday, September 11, 2011, at about 7.20am the body of Janusz Smoderek was found in the garden of a house at 28 Sleaford Road in Boston.

“Mr Smoderek had been stabbed to death. He had been stabbed to death by Stephen Sleaford.”

The jury heard Sleaford and two friends had left the Axe and Cleaver pub at around 4am when they came across Mr Smoderek and the woman who had become separated from her friends during a night out.

“Sleaford’s initial contact with the man he eventually killed was lawful,” Mr Spencer said.

“He and another man, Peter Parrish, intervened to separate Mr Smoderek from a highly distressed and very drunk young lady who did not want Mr Smoderek’s attention.

“They intervened but having rendered Mr Smoderek no threat to her or anybody else Sleaford pulled out a knife and used it with wholly disproportionate, unnecessary and unlawful violence.

“Mr Smoderek was left to die.”

The prosecution alleges Mr Smoderek was left slumped over a hedge. His body was later found in the garden.

“Examination of his body revealed six stab wounds,” Mr Spencer told the jury. “Five of those were to the chest area and one of those had pierced his heart.

“Common sense will tell you that caused critical blood loss which led to his death.”

It is alleged Sleaford confessed to killing Mr Smoderek at some stage as he walked the girl home.

Sleaford, of no fixed address, denies the murder.

The trial which is expected to last four weeks continues.