After she broke their relationship, a homicidal ex-boyfriend stabbed a Polish student to death in an alleyway. He was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 29 years.
After stalking Anna Jedrkowiak from his home in Newport, South Wales, in May, Dennis Akpomedaye, 30, tried to decapitate her by stabbing her over 40 times in Ealing, west London.
He waited for the 21-year-old, known as Ania, to complete her shift at Las Iguanas before following her and a young man she was close to. He was wearing a balaclava and had his hood up.
The attack was described by Judge Rajeev Shetty as “ferocious and savage” as he sentenced Akpomedaye to prison on Wednesday at Kingston Crown Court.
He said: “There is no mitigation here. There is no evidence of a mental disorder or disability.”
Ms Jedrkowiak’s mother Danuta, who lives in Poland, said in a statement read to the court: “He, this murderer, is still alive and will be for many more years, despite the fact he took my daughter’s life.”
She said the “barbaric” way her daughter died meant her heart “broke with grief and despair”
Katareyna Glowacka, the 39-year-old sister of Ms. Jedrkowiak who resides in the UK, shed tears in court as a statement detailing her “despair, helplessness, and complete disbelief” was read aloud.
She said: “I am also very angry. I have been robbed of the opportunity to have a sister in my life.”
Ms Glowacka, who was pregnant when her sister died, added: “It is heartbreaking that my little baby boy will never meet his auntie.”
She said her “smart, tenacious and ambitious” sister, who was also “caring, kind and thoughtful”, was a gifted musician.
Ms. Jedrkowiak and Jack Maskell, a 21-year-old Las Iguanas employee, had grown “more than just friends” and were out for a stroll when Ms. Jedrkowiak was killed.
He told the court: “I have been left with indescribable memories that can never been erased.
“It was dark and cruel. I will never unseen what he did to her.”
Seeing the murder, according to Mr. Maskell, has caused him “significant emotional problems” such post-traumatic stress disorder and despair.
Despite his efforts to save Ms. Jedrkowiak, he expressed regret, saying, “I will never know if I could have stopped what happened.”
There was “nothing” he could have done, according to Judge Shetty, who advised him not to harbor regret.
“You have been present in court for the entire trial and sentence and heard the most painful evidence of Ania’s last moments,” the judge stated in response to Ms. Jedrkowiak’s family.
“I cannot imagine the horror and upset you have experienced and I know, as has been said, that Ania’s premature death will leave a hole in your lives that can never be closed.
“What I can say is that you have behaved with dignity. The sentence cannot do much to help you grieve or recover, save that I hope it at least completes a process of justice being done.”
Nigerian-born Akpomedaye first connected with Ms Jedrkowiak online in January 2021, and the two dated for about a year until she broke things off.
Akpomedaye started threatening to commit suicide in the weeks leading up to her death in an effort to control her. He could not accept their breakup.
Kerim Fuad KC, defending, said: “It is truly tragic and awful that a relationship once so full of hope and love can have come to this.
“The photographs that the jury were shown of the defendant and Ms Jedrkowiak speak of happiness, love and hope for the future.
“Her life was to be ended by the defendant’s act borne of rejection and jealousy.”
He testified before the court that Akpomedaye had been “slowly falling down a dark hole,” was residing in “squalor” full of maggots, and was having financial issues.
He promised Ms. Jedrkowiak that they would be together no matter what in the weeks leading up to the murder. I’ll track you down.
When Akpomedaye sought medical attention twice after his attack, he gave phony names.
He pretended to be a sword performer whose act had gone horribly wrong as his weird cover tale.