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