Mum tried to help killer son flee UK after he 'viciously' murdered partner at Coventry flat

Patryk Skupinski and his mother Hannah Skupinski have both been jailed Credit: West Midlands Police

A mother who tried to help her killer son flee the country after he murdered his partner in a "vicious" attack has been jailed.

Marlene Doyle was found with significant head injuries at the flat she shared with her partner Patryk Skupinski in Shakespeare Street, Coventry, on 20 January last year.

Skupinski, 37, has been sentenced to life in prison for her murder, after launching a "savage" attack and leaving her body to go undiscovered for five days while he hid with friends and family.

His mother, Hanna Skupinski, 59, of Bell Green Road, Coventry, was jailed for 15 months for assisting an offender.

She made enquiries about helping him leave the country and then kept him hidden at her home for two days.

When officers attended her home to speak to him she initially refused to open the door.

A relative reported that Marlene Doyle had not been seen for a number of days. Credit: West Midlands Police

Alarms were raised when a relative reported that Ms Doyle, 32, had not been seen, or made contact, for a number of days.

Investigations found she most likely died up to five days earlier.

Skupinski was identified as the prime suspect in her murder and was traced to his mother's address in Coventry where he was arrested.

Through CCTV and phone records, police established Skupinski had been in contact with two friends on the evening of 15 January.

Michal Lada and Kinga Rybacka went to the flat in the early hours of 16 January and then allowed him to stay with them and hide away for three days.

This is despite - as police say - clearly knowing Skupinski had killed his girlfriend.

Lada, 40, and Rybacka, 27, both of Blythe Road, Coventry, were also convicted of assisting an offender. Lada was jailed for 42 months and Rybacka received a 15-month sentence.

The killer had also been in contact with his mother Hanna Skupinski shortly after he had brutally murdered Ms Doyle.

During the investigation, police established Ms Doyle had been subjected to domestic violence over a period of time before her death.  

(Pictured L/R: Skupinski, Lada, Hannah, Rybacka) Credit: West Midlands Police

Ms Doyle's devastated mother Gloria said her daughter "paid with her life" for not acting sooner, and warned others who "choose to remain and keep quiet in the hope that the situation will improve".

She said: “Marlene’s life was taken by a partner with whom she shared a loving relationship with, but ultimately became toxic due to domestic violence issues including verbal and physical abuse towards her. 

"Marlene's story should act as a warning to all women and men who find themselves within such relationships, and who choose to remain and keep quiet in the hope that the situation will improve. 

"Marlene paid with her life for not acting sooner, killed at the hands of a wicked man whom she loved and trusted. Marlene will be forever missed by her three young sons and her ever loving family.”

Detective Sergeant Andy Wareham, from West Midlands Police's homicide unit, said: "This was a vicious and savage attack in a place, and with someone, Ms Doyle should have felt the safest.

"It's unclear what Skupinski used to attack Ms Doyle with but he left her with significant head injuries.

"It quickly became clear her relationship with Skupinski was volatile and he was immediately our prime suspect. He will quite rightly spend many, many years behind bars.

"Sadly, there were others who were willing to try and help him stay hidden. They were fully aware Ms Doyle was lying dead in the flat but were content to cover for a killer and not say anything.

"There can never be a sense of loyalty when someone has committed the most gruesome act of murder and they are now also rightly convicted criminals.

"We can only hope these convictions, and knowing people have been brought to justice, will ease some of the pain for Ms Doyle's loved ones." 

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