A man killed his wife, his two children, his father-in-law, his wife's friend and his wife's friend's daughter in a brutal knife attack because he could not face the break-up of his marriage, a court in Jersey heard today.
31-year-old Damian Rzeszcowki is accused of murdering six people in St Helier, Jersey on August 14 last year.
The Polish national pleaded guilty to manslaughter through diminished responsibility in April, but the manslaughter pleas were not accepted by the Crown, which argued that the defendant was not suffering an "abnormality of the mind" when the attacks took place. He is accused of murdering six people in a frenzied knife attack .
- 30-year-old Izabela Rzeszowska (his wife)
- Five-year-old Kinga Rzeszowska (his daughter)
- Two-year-old Kacper Rzeszowska (his son)
- 56-year-old Marek Garstka (his father-in-law)
- 34-year-old Marta De La Haye (his wife's friend)
- Five-year-old Julia De La Haye (Mrs De La Haye's daughter)
The Royal Court in St Helier heard today that Rzeszowski's rampage took place against a backdrop of increasing marital difficulties between himself and his wife.
Solicitor General Howard Sharp, for the prosecution, told the presiding judge Sir Michael Birt and two jurats - similar to magistrates in the mainland UK - who are judging the case that Rzeszowski's marriage was "under great strain."
According to Rzeszowsk's lawyer, his wife Izabela had admitted to her husband that she had been having a two-month affair and threatened to commit suicide.
After learning of his wife's infidelity, Rzeszowski started to go out drinking, had a one night stand and took an overdose of pills on July 19.
In an attempt to save their marriage, the couple went on holiday to Poland to visit their families. Mr Sharp said:
However, the problems remained and the defendant visited a prostitute while he was in Poland.
The knife attack took place in the couple's home in Victoria Crescent, St Helier, on the day they returned from their holiday.
Mr Sharp said his client could not face the prospect of a failed marriage. He told the court:
The state of their marriage was a determining factor in the defendant's behaviour in June and July last year. He could not face the prospect of a failed marriage.
The hearing continues.