A woman is murdered: the police scratch their heads
Posted on July 31, 2009
I’m not sure why it is that some murders instantly make the front pages of every newspaper and are the first thing you hear about when you switch on the tv news, whereas others go virtually ignored. If it’s teenagers killing each other with knives for example, we’re guaranteed to hear about it. Each death that occurs seems to spark an intense national debate into what’s going wrong with the youth of today and what all this senseless killing means for society as a whole. And quite rightly so I hasten to add.
But a woman being murdered by her husband? Boring! It’s just another domestic dispute, barely worthy of a mention.
Did you know for instance that on Friday last week (24th July) a woman in Ipswich was (allegedly) killed by her estranged husband in the stairwell of the block of flats where she lived? Does the name Malgorzarta Lipinska ring any bells with anyone?
I seriously doubt it. Because the only media that have picked up this story so far besides the BBC have been the local media, and even then, the BBC only started covering it in detail after the perpetrator topped himself in Norwich prison on Wednesday. A prison suicide – now that’s newsworthy.
Before Wednesday’s suicide, the BBC coverage went like this:
Homeless man charged with murder
A 37-year-old homeless man has been charged with the murder of a woman found seriously injured in the stairway of a block of flats in Suffolk.
Mariusz Lipinski, of no fixed abode, was arrested in Ipswich on suspicion of murder on Friday.
He is being held in custody at Ipswich police station and is due to appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.
Although not formally identified police named the woman who died as Malgorzata Lipinska, 38, known as Gosia.
“She is believed to be Malgorzata Lipinska, known as Gosia, who lived in Duke Street, Ipswich,” a police spokeswoman said.
She was pronounced dead where she was found in the communal stairwell of the block of flats where she lived.
A post mortem examination established the cause of death as multiple injuries.
Notice how the headline is totally focussed on the man’s status?
Still, even with the erasure of the victim from the headline, at least it’s not completely misleading, unlike yesterday’s which was: Probe into deaths of man and wife.
And how about this one from the local press: Family pay tribute to murder/suicide mum
Murder/suicide implies that it’s unclear how Malgorzata Lipinska died, that there’s a possibility it was a suicide not a murder. But Malgorzata Lipinska didn’t kill herself: her husband (allegedly) murdered her, then six days later he killed himself. At a push that would maybe make it a murder-suicide, (an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before or after killing him or herself) but that’s only if you stretch the definition a bit and take the immediately before or after out of it.
But anyway, back to that probe into the deaths. Apparently Suffolk Probation, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the police are now reviewing the cases, because as the BBC points out, and as no one reading this blog will be surprised to hear, there was a history of domestic violence leading up to Malgorzata Lipinska’s murder.
Lipinski was charged with common assault on the mother-of-two on February 25 last year at the flat they shared in Siloam Place, a relatively new road between Fore Hamlet and Duke Street.
After pleading guilty he was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £100 by the court.
Five months later police were called to another argument at the couple’s home on July 20, although it is unclear whether the case was ever pursued.
In October last year Lipinski was arrested for drink driving and assaulting Mrs Lipinska.
When the case came to court in February this year Ipswich magistrates heard Lipinski had told his wife she would die if she would not have him back.
Prosecutor Andrea Reynolds told the court: “He said he would kill her if she did not go back to him.”
Lipinski admitted assaulting Mrs Lipinska, and driving his car while three times the legal drink limit.
He had arranged for his wife to meet him at Tacket Street car park in Ipswich so that he could give her a laptop to contact her family in Poland.
A drunken Lipinski arrived in his Audi A6. He pulled up beside his wife, opened the door and yanked her into the car by her neck.
The court then heard how he held her by the neck and hair.
Two passers-by rescued Mrs Lipinska after hearing her screaming “help me”.
Lipinski was jailed at his sentencing in March for four weeks for common assault and four weeks for drink driving. He was also disqualified from driving for 28 months.
However, two weeks before his sentencing, Lipinski was in trouble again when he breached a conditional discharge on February 25. He was found guilty, the order was revoked for the original offence and he was resentenced.
He was given an eight-week prison term.
Police then arrested the Polish national on April 11 after they were called to Mrs Lipinska’s second floor flat in Duke Street at 7.45am.
She had only just moved to the apartment block, which is less than 300 metres from the home she shared with Lipinski in Siloam Place.
When officers arrived Mrs Lipinska told them her husband had grabbed her and shaken her.
She also told them that two days earlier he had threatened to kill her.
Lipinski was arrested for common assault.
When he appeared in court he was remanded in custody, before being bailed to a hostel in Newmarket on April 24.
He was also ordered not to contact Mrs Lipinska.
Lipinski was arrested once more on May 3 in Duke Street for breaching his bail conditions when he was found outside his estranged wife’s flat.
In a tragic irony, he was also due before Ipswich magistrates yesterday for possession of a bladed article after allegedly sharpening a seven-inch knife on the kerb in Upper Barclay Street, off Upper Orwell Street.
So, he was repeatedly arrested for assaulting her, he’d breached his bail conditions by turning up at her flat, he’d made repeated threats to kill her, and he’d recently been arrested for possession of an offensive weapon. What the fuck was Mariusz Lipinski doing at large in the first place? Why wasn’t he in custody last Friday instead of being out and about and free to murder the poor woman he’d been terrorising for months? And why the hell are Suffolk police now scratching their heads and wondering how this dreadful crime could have happened?
Suffolk Police’s Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull said: “This is an extremely tragic incident and our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends.
“Many positive interventions were put in place in this case, however we are in the process of establishing the best way to undertake a full multi-agency review.
“We have also voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
“This is to establish whether there is anything further that could have been done to protect the victim.”
Whether anything further could have been done? You’re having a bloody laugh aren’t you Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull?
I’ll be interested to see how the IPCC enquiry goes.
RIP Malgorzarta (Gosia) Lipinska
Hey Cath, interesting piece. I guess it’s no big surprise that certain deaths count for more than others in the media. In addition to sexism, I suppose one reason for this is that domestic violence is a threat to the individual women involved, whereas knife crime is seen as a threat to the wider community – and gives the reactionary press a golden opportunity to stereotype and demonise by both race and class, and bemoan the loss of “traditional values” that are turning our society into a jungle.
Other deaths that have gone under the radar include the brutal murder of Marwa el-Sherbini by an Islamophobe/racist in Dresden, Germany, which hardly got any coverage – at least, at first. http://chronikler.com/middle-east/egypt/hijab-and-dagger/
Then, there’s the wall-to-wall coverage the death of each British soldier in Afghanistan gets and very little is heard about the demise of Afghan civilians. http://chronikler.com/europe/uk/equality-not-even-in-death/
Would it be too cynical of me to wonder if the police would have had the estranged husband in custody long before, had his wife’s name been Mary Linton or similar? Unfortunately to some who come across this story she’s just another dead immigrant.
Aside from that, the police tend to play down stories when it’s obvious that they screwed up big time – this incident ticks both boxes.
The media commonly mis-represent male partners murdering female partners and who then commit suicide as a ‘tragedy.’ Likewise police commonly claim to be at a ‘loss’ as to what made the man murder his female partner. Police always claim such cases are isolated ones or are tragic ones but dig a little deeper and there will always be a history of male violence committed against the murdered woman.
With regards to the so-called epidemic of knife crimes the fact the majority of these crimes are committed by teenage and/or adult males against other teenage/adult males has of course, been ignored. Instead it is supposedly ‘young people’ or ‘youths’ who are committing these violent acts. But where are the teenage girls/adult women knifing other teenage girls/adult women?
If the situation were reversed and it was teenage girls/adult women running amok knifing and stabbing other females the media and government would be horrified and steps would immediately be taken to punish these females. Yet, because it is male on male violence, no mention must be made of the fact it is males committing these offences and asking searching questions as to whether or not there is a direct connection with the social construction of masculinity. These boys/adult men have different backgrounds and ethnicities but they all have one common denominator – their masculinity and belief they have to constantly prove their masculinity to other males. One way is by carrying a knife in order to protect onself from potential male violence. Why are so many boys and adult males afraid of other boys and adult males? Could it be because many boys and adult males are terrified their ‘masculinity’ will be challenged by other more ‘masculine males.’ Or is it about male power and the belief the bigger the knife the more powerful and dominant is the male.
Likewise the common everyday murders committed by men against female partners pass unnoticed by the media unless of course, there is a ‘sensational,’ ‘titilating’ or racial aspect.
Note: this latest femicide committed by a male did not focus on the fact Malgorzata Lipinska’s husband allegedly murdered her, no ‘it was a homeless man’ apparently. Perhaps ‘homeless’ men commit more murders than so-called ‘respectable white men.’ These are diversionary tactics because there must be no focus on the biological sex of the alleged murderer but instead the focus has to be on the alleged male murderer’s class/race/ethnicity.
All are diversionary tactics designed to promote myth men who murder women are all deviants or ‘others’ not normal respectable men.
Anyone remember the case of a wealthy businessman who was facing bankruptcy and who cold-bloodedly murdered his wife and daughter before committing suicide. Oh it was a tragedy said the media – no say feminists it was murder because the man murdered two women and then committed suicide. If the man could not live with the knowledge he was about to be made bankrupt why did he not just commit suicide rather than deciding he had the right to murder two women and end their lives.
Perhaps this man believed the two women were his property and since he wanted to die they too had to die.
This case just reaffirms my thoughts on the absolute ineffectiveness of the way that Suffolk deals with domestic abuse issues. Allegedly there is a suffolk wide domestic abuse forum that ensures that services are available throughout the county. I have never seen any evidence of its work though.
There are lots of good things about living in Suffolk. But the absolute failure of services to properly protect this woman and effectively restrain that murdering bastard is appalling. Whoever is responsible for this failure, whether its the police, probation, magistrates, whoever they are I hope they have a conscience, because if they had acted appropriately, this woman may still be alive.
When we had the VAWA in the states, we had a public services union cropping up everywhere, reclaim the night etc.
one was tripping over them, they were ubiquitous public feminists, they were also doing the bidding of a pack of rapist bastards of the kind photographed at abu graibh.
Secretly they had a prison guard project and they f*cked up everything of value behind the scenes.
In Pa the money they would keep by messing up VAWA was huge, really huge, because it was cop pensions & etc.
I have friends working in Afghanistan, and they think Britain is off the scale ( gender violence) with very few inhibitors.
I think Alaska or Canada (aboriginal), or Russia, would be the working comparisons.
The number one target for feminism, has to be the NASUWT, they’re stabbing you in the back with secret sleazy deals.
It is EXACTLY the same as the VAWA in the USA, it is the same. The NASUWT would be the union Charles Graner would want to join.
The NASUWT are the number one legislative barrier to ‘gender crime’ reform in the UK.