'Sadistic' women taunted, tortured and beat vulnerable Sheffield man to death

Stephen Mark Koszyczarski
Stephen Mark Koszyczarski -Credit:South Yorkshire Police

Two women who tortured and murdered their neighbour in cold blood have been found guilty.

Jurors took just two hours and 35 minutes to find Zoe Rider, 36, and Nicola Lethbridge, 45, guilty of the robbery and murder of Stephen Koszyczarski on August 9 last year. The monstrous duo tortured Stephen and filmed some of the attack.

During the trial at Sheffield Crown Court, jurors watched the footage which featured the pair taunting Stephen while they robbed and attacked him. Part of the footage was played during the opening in April, and in it, they could be heard hurling sickening abuse at defenceless Stephen.

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One said: "Dirty, f****** wrong 'un...Having his f****** balls cut off. Where's the knife, where's the scissors gone? Little f****** n**** that abusing little girls aren't you Steve?"

Another could then be heard to say: "Aren't you Steve?" while one of them said: "Not even denying it you f****** c***."

As the footage played, one of the defendants could be heard to say: "Wipe your f****** face" as a man said: "I can't stop bleeding." They then said: "Do you think I give a f***?"

Prosecutor Andrew O'Byrne KC told the court that Stephen, 60, lived alone at his flat in Fraser Drive, Sheffield, and was described as a "collector". He said on the day of his murder, he had gone to a café and had spoken with the owner there, who he knew. The woman was said to be concerned about Stephen who seemed to be "running short of money".

Mr O-Byrne said: "During the course of the conversation, he complained he wasn't getting much sleep because people in his block were making a lot of noise and disturbing him."

It was said the woman offered to give Stephen £55 and although he was reluctant at first, he eventually took it.

It was heard that Stephen was captured on CCTV footage on his way home, but at 11.20pm that night, he pressed a button on a lanyard that activated an alarm used for assistance for those with health issues. Mr O-Byrne said: "He spoke to an operator and asked for assistance. He told them he had been attacked and was bleeding."

It was said female voices were heard in the background of that call.

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The court heard Stephen was taken to hospital but died on August 11. Mr O-Byrne said a pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination on Stephen's body said he "died as a consequence of what he describes as a sustained and blunt-force physical assault and haemorrhage of the skull".

It was said Stephen had injuries to his head and neck, bruises to his ear, eyes, cheeks and lips. He had also suffered bruising to his chest that were "most likely caused by kicks".

Mr O'Byrne described the assault on him as "sadistic." Both Lethbridge and Rider will be sentenced on June 5.