A teenage drug dealer who tried to decapitate his 12-year-old friend because he feared he would "snitch" on him has been named, after a judge ruled that the brutal attack should prompt a debate on knife crime.
Roberts Buncis, 12, was killed by Marcel Grzeszcz, 15, in Fishtoft, near Boston, Lincolnshire, in December last year. He was stabbed "in excess of 70 times" - including a wound to the neck "consistent with a decapitation attempt".
Grzeszcz, who was 14 at the time of the attack, was publicly named for the first time on Monday, after a High Court judge lifted reporting restrictions protecting the killer’s identity.
It came as the teenager was sentenced to a minimum term of 16 years in prison.
“I have no doubt that the circumstances of the offence are not only of proper interest to the public at large and within the local area, but also as forming part of the necessary public debate on knife crime in general, including the investigation of its causes and prevention,” Mr Justice Jeremy Baker ruled.
Lincoln Crown Court heard that Grzeszcz took a knife and latex gloves to a wooded area, where he lured his young victim before launching the “premeditated killing”.
He was worried Roberts was going to report his plans to become a cannabis dealer, the court heard.
The pair had previously discussed Grzeszcz’s plans to rob a shop in order to get money to set himself up as a drug dealer, but Roberts refused to be involved.
Mary Loram QC, prosecuting, told the court that Grzeszcz sent a message to another boy that “Rob’s a liability”, which was met with the response: “If he [a] snitch, smack time”.
Following the attack, Grzeszcz ran home and tried to hide the knife, as well as burn the clothes and latex gloves he was wearing.
He told a friend on Facebook Messenger that "things went wrong" and "this wasn't supposed to go down like this".
Grzeszcz denied murder but admitted to manslaughter during his trial. However, his account was rejected by jurors, who found him guilty of murder earlier this year.
Brendan Kelly QC, mitigating for Grzeszcz, told the court that his client was a “troubled young man” who had been through a "period of chaos" during 2020 with his parents.
The court heard that he routinely carried a knife and dealt drugs in school. One incident resulted in him being excluded from his primary school for taking a knife into class.
Mr Justice Baker rejected any evidence of “substantial neglect” in Grzeszcz’s upbringing, but accepted that his parents “appear to have prioritised their work over your supervision”.
‘Utterly senseless’ killing
The court heard a victim impact statement from Roberts' father, Edgars Buncis, who moved to England from Latvia when his son was seven.
"His death at the hands of another boy, over what, drugs, fighting, girls, it doesn't make sense," he said.
"I've lost my destination, my purpose, my life is in the cemetery."
Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Myszczyszyn, of Lincolnshire Police, said the case acted as a "stark and chilling lesson on the potential devastation of knife crime".
He said: "The act was utterly senseless and the consequences devastating.
"It will be remembered by officers and staff as one of the worst and saddest cases we have ever dealt with.
"The level of violence, and that it involved children, makes it almost incomprehensible.
"It's a stark and chilling lesson on the potential devastation of knife crime.”