Stephen Sleaford sentenced to life for murdering Janusz Smoderek in Boston
Boston man Stephen Sleaford has been handed a life sentence and will serve a minimum of 23 years after being convicted of the murder of Janusz Smoderek.
The 39-year-old had denied stabbing the 48-year-old Polish flower packer in Boston on September 11, 2011.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Sleaford intervened when he discovered Smoderek molesting an 18-year-old girl in the town.
He claimed Smoderek pulled a knife and he simply disarmed him.
Hurry Up!!! Special £5 Voucher for Nepalese and Indian TakeawayView details
We are providing £5 voucher for all online registered customer. Register online at www.everestxpress.co.uk
or visit our Takeaway with a copy of this voucher. Call us on 01522541930 for more details.
Terms: Visit our website for full T & C.
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The jury of seven women and five men reached their verdict after retiring on Tuesday afternoon.
Sleaford pursued Mr Smoderek along Sleaford Road, where he inflicted five stab wounds to the victim’s chest area, leaving him to die.
Sleaford returned and boasted to the frightened girl "we've dealt with it" after knifing the Pole five times in the chest.
Mr Smoderek’s body was found later that morning in the garden of a property in Sleaford Road.
Sleaford then went on the run for a period of 11 days, travelling to Newcastle and then back to Lincolnshire before eventually being arrested at a former girlfriend’s address in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
The jury were told that Sleaford had a previous conviction for GBH in 1994, when he had been sentenced to 11 years for shooting a man.
Passing sentence, Judge Michael Heath said the girl had been "rescued and was in no danger" when Sleaford carried out the attack.
He said: "Janusz Smoderek had been drinking heavily in Boston town centre and followed the 18-year-old girl who was drunk and upset. She was walking alone.
"Janusz Smoderek sexually assaulted her by grabbing her breasts with both hands. You and two others were in the vicinity and to your credit you and another intervened.
"Janusz Smoderek was prevented from subjecting her to further sexual impropriety. She had been rescued and was no longer in danger.
"Smoderek was then attacked and was defenceless when he was stabbed by Sleaford. This was a brutal stabbing and there was an element of punishment."
Det Supt Stuart Morrison said, “This was a vicious and cowardly attack on an unarmed man.
"Irrespective of the circumstances in which Sleaford intervened that night, the level of violence used on Mr Smoderek was utterly disproportionate and resulted in a family losing a husband, father and grandfather.
"When people carry knives, there is always the potential for a tragedy to occur, and in this case, the knife was in the possession of a man with a history of violence who thought nothing of taking a man’s life”.