The family of murder victim Patrycja Wyrebek have expressed their grief after her boyfriend’s conviction for murder on Thursday.
awid Lukasz Mietus was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of the Polish woman.
The 20-year-old was found dead in her Newry home in August 2020.
Her stepmother said: “Patrycja was my loving stepdaughter, whom I will love forever. She will always be in my heart.
“We all miss Patrycja very much, especially her father and I, her sister Maja, her brothers Kamil and Kuba, as well as her wider family and friends. We will never understand why Patrycja was taken from us, we will bear her loss for the rest of our lives.
“Our children are the only thing that gives us something to live for. Our hearts are broken and they will never be the same. We miss you Patrycja. One day we will meet on the other side and we will be together again. Goodbye Pati.”
The family added in a statement that “Patrycja was a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her and had so many plans for the future. She was a happy and beautiful person. She should live today to fulfill her plans and be with her family.
PSNI Detective Inspector Mark Gibson said Patrycja died of strangulation.
“The autopsy also revealed multiple injuries and bruises on her face and body,” he added.
Mietus, who initially tried to hide any involvement, later claimed that Patrycja’s death was an accident. He claimed she had died during intercourse, as a result of consensual asphyxiation.
“During this investigation, agents worked closely with prosecutors from the Public Prosecution Service. Thanks to the dedication of the investigative team, a wealth of evidence was gathered against Mietus, and he eventually confessed to strangling Patrycja after a domestic incident.
“This has been a particularly painful and disturbing ordeal for Patrycja’s family, who are still heartbroken. They have had a painful wait of more than a year and a half to finally hear Mietus admit the truth.”
Detective Inspector Gibson appealed to anyone who may feel trapped in an abusive relationship.
He continued: “Domestic violence is not just physical. It can take many forms, including controlling behavior and emotional and financial abuse.
“We know that victims can feel vulnerable, isolated and scared. Caught by the manipulations of their abusers. Unfortunately, we also know, as can be seen in this case, that domestic violence can escalate fatally.
“I want to encourage all victims of abuse to come forward. We will help you. We will listen to you and we will treat you with total respect and sensitivity. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
“Contact us at 101, or in an emergency, 999.”