Man accused of murdering son told police he could not remember death, court told

·3-min read
The trial is taking place at the High Court in Edinburgh (PA) (PA Archive)
The trial is taking place at the High Court in Edinburgh (PA) (PA Archive)

A man accused of murdering his two-year-old son repeatedly told police he had no memory of the boy’s death, a court has heard.

Lukasz Czapla, 41, is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh accused of murdering his son Julius at a property in Muirhouse in the city on November 20 or 21, 2020.

A 15-strong jury was shown a video recording of a 70-minute interview between the accused, Detective Sergeant Christopher Edmund and Detective Constable Roderick Scott hours after the boy was found dead at Czapla’s house.

The two officers repeatedly questioned Czapla on his memory of the time between the evening of November 20 and the morning the next day, to which he can mostly be seen shrugging, and mumbling “I don’t know” through the video’s poor audio.

Mr Edmund told Czapla that several witnesses saw him driving his car away from his house the morning his son was found dead.

He then asked the accused why he did this, before asking him, again, what he can remember from that time period.

At this point Czapla can be seen wiping his cheeks with his hands and mumbling: “I don’t remember.”

Mr Scott, who has now retired, was then heard asking: “Your son is dead, your only son Julius is dead.

“Do you remember seeing him dead?

“How did Julius, a two-year-old boy, die in your house, in your bed?”

Czapla, slumped in a chair, with his hands loosely crossed on his lap, replied: “I don’t know.”

I could tell he was very emotional, which was understandable

Detective Sergeant Christopher Edmund, in evidence to the trial

In response, Mr Scott then raised his voice as he said: “Of course you were, you were there.”

The officer went on to say: “You don’t seem bothered that your son has died.

“That I find difficult to understand.

“As a father, I don’t understand how you can sit there and say this I don’t remember story.

“If you can live with this for the rest of your life, then so be it. But I don’t understand. You took something that night, you took too many pills? Tell us.

“But none of that matters because your son is dead and you have to live with that now.”

He then asked: “Should we be looking for someone else who killed your son?”

In the video, Czapla continued to look down at his hands, saying nothing.

Mr Scott continued: “I will ask you one more time, take responsibility for what happened that night, tell us what happened,” to which the accused mumbled: “I don’t remember.”

Mr Edmund appeared in court to give evidence on Friday.

Iain McSporran QC, defending, asked him about how Czapla presented himself during the interview in November 2020.

The detective said: “I could tell there was an emotional response from him.

“I could tell he was very emotional, which was understandable.”

He said he was not able to comment on whether Czapla was “bothered” about the death of his son.

Czapla had offered to plead guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide, but it was not accepted by the Crown.

Mr McSporran called for a “special defence” which states the accused was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of his son’s death.

He faces nine other charges against him, including drink-driving, drug possession, and having an air weapon.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.

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