Julius Czapla killing: Father admits lying when he said he could not remember

·4-min read

A man admitted to withholding information when being interviewed about killing his son because he could not confront his actions, a court has heard.

Lukasz Czapla is on trial accused of murdering his two-year-old boy, Julius, at his home in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, in November 2020.

The 41-year-old, former IT technician has offered to plead guilty to culpable homicide, but this was not accepted by the Crown.

At a previous hearing, the court heard Czapla told police officers and psychiatrists that he could not remember killing his son days after the toddler’s body was found.

A couple of months later, however, the accused then gave a “harrowing” account of how he killed the boy after claiming to remember more details, according to consultant psychiatrist, Dr Alexander Quinn, who has previously given evidence at the trial.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday, Czapla admitted to initially lying to psychiatrists about what he had done.

Iain McSporran QC, defence, asked the accused: “When you initially told them you could not remember, is it because you couldn’t remember or because you couldn’t face it?”

Czapla replied: “I didn’t want to face it.”

McSporran then asked if Czapla was lying, to which he said: “Yes, you could say I was lying when I said I couldn’t remember.

“I couldn’t face it.”

Reflecting on this, the accused started crying in the dock, adding: “It was soul destroying.”

Ealier, the court had heard Czapla and his former partner, Patrycja Szczesniak, the mother of Julius, had relationship issues, particularly after their seven-year relationship ended in June 2020.

Mr McSporran asked Czapla if he wanted Julius to die to “punish” Ms Szczesniak, to which he replied: “No.”

He was then asked if the killing was due to “wickedness against Julius”, to which Czapla said: “No, I had nothing against Julius, he was the love of my life, he was my best friend.”

The accused then broke down in tears in court.

Earlier, the jury heard Czapla lost his father, whom he described as his “best friend”, at a young age.

He told the court he saw his father’s body, and the death left him with “a massive emptiness”.

Czapla said he suffered with mental health problems from a young age, and the day Julius was found dead he had tried to kill himself.

When the defence asked if he had any thoughts about his son at the time, he said: “I didn’t see any point in living and I thought about him (Julius), he relied on me.

“I didn’t want to leave him alone.

“I remember my father’s dead body and I thought Julius will have to see this, too, and so I thought I will have to take him with me.”

McSporran asked Czapla to clarify if “take him with me” meant killing Julius, to which the accused replied: “Yes.”

Prosecutor Alan Cameron, referring to previous evidence, said a regular memory of Czapla’s from November 21 2020, the day of the alleged murder, was his anger towards Ms Szczesniak.

The transcript of a phone call between Czapla and a friend about the evening of the killing was read out in court where the accused said: “I was pissed off so much, she was f*****g annoying and wouldn’t talk to me.”

Several other transcripts were read out which detailed similar accounts of Czapla saying he was “rageous” about Ms Szczesniak’s communication with him.

The court was then shown messages from the night before Julius was found dead during which Ms Szczesniak spoke about a new partner.

Czapla asked if the new partner was “more permanent” to which Szczesniak said: “I won’t give you too much details ’cause that tends to end up badly.”

In response, Czapla said he was “frustrated” at being “misunderstood”.

Cameron, addressing the accused, said “you were angry, rageous, pissed off at her (Szczesniak) refusal to answer your messages and you’re drinking and taking tablets”, adding, “you were looking for a way to get back at her and make her suffer”.

Czapla said: “No, this is your interpretation of events, I don’t agree.”

Cameron then added: “All the regret you might now have doesn’t change what you did and why you did it and that was out of spite, out of nastiness.”

Czapla replied: “No.

“My son was the most important person.

“Why would I do something to someone who is the most important to harm someone who is not important?”

Earlier, toxicology and police evidence showed that Czapla was intoxicated at the time of Julius’s death, having drunk alcohol and consumed anti-depressant medication.

Czapla denies murdering the toddler in his home in November 2020.

He has pleaded guilty to nine other charges which include dangerous driving, drug possession and having an air weapon.

All evidence, before Lord Beckett, has concluded.