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Halifax killer who showed "no mercy" as he murdered his wife is jailed for life

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A violent husband who showed no mercy in a brutal knife attack on his 36-year-old wife has been jailed for life for her murder.

A court heard today (Friday) that Bradford hotel worker Monika Lasek suffered devastating wounds as she tried to defend herself during the Sunday morning attack at the family's home in Solstice Way, Illingworth, Halifax, last November.

Monika Lasek inset and the scene in Illingworth

Monika Lasek inset and the scene in Illingworth

A jury at Bradford Crown Court found her husband Zbigniew Lasek, 36, guilty of murder following a trial and sentencing him to life in prison, with a minimum term of 24 years, Judge David Hatton QC said he was satisfied that the fatal attack was the culmination of a history of violence and coercive behaviour on Lasek's part.

The court heard that the couple had three children and Judge Hatton said they had been devastated by the loss of their mother.

During the trial the jury heard how Mrs Lasek had wanted her husband to move out the house after their relationship broke down about six months before the murder.

Nine days before the killing police officers attended at the property following reports of a domestic incident, but Mrs Lasek declined to make a formal statement and no action was taken against her husband.

During the trial the jury heard evidence about Lasek's threats towards his wife and Judge Hatton said on the 26th of November he had done what he said he would do to ensure that she would not be with anyone else.

"This was a particularly brutal attack with a large and sharp knife," the judge told Lasek.

"It was used on several occasions to inflict a considerable number of injuries some of which were deep and devastating and some of which were inflicted while she lay on the floor of your hallway having crawled from the kitchen, already seriously injured and no doubt in shocking pain.

"You showed her no mercy. The injuries that she sustained to her hands in themselves testify to the frantic manner in which she sought helplessly to repel the knife and cling onto her life."

Lasek, who claimed he "went mad" after his wife stabbed him in the thigh, broke down in tears after the jury's verdict, but Judge Hatton said he had seen no remorse from him.

"The tears that you purported to shed in evidence, if real, were very much for yourself," said the judge.

After the murder Lasek tried to make it look as if he had been injured in the incident and he also pretended to have tried to hang himself from a cable attached to the staircase.

In a victim impact statement Mrs Lasek's mother Grazyna described how her life had been turned upside by the murder and her whole family was suffering.

"We are all devastated by what happened," she said.

"It has still not sunk in that we will not see Monika again. Zbigniew has hurt us in the worst possible way."

Following the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Gibson, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Monika was much loved mother, daughter and sister, whose life was tragically cut short.

“Our thoughts continue to be with Monika’s family, who have shown great dignity and strength through what has understandably been a devastating time for them.

“No verdict or sentence will bring Monika back to her family. I hope however, that in getting justice they can begin to move forward with their lives.”