Father sentenced for at least 23 years after psychiatrist brands actions ‘narcissistic and entitled’
A man who shot his two-year-old son in the head with an air gun before stabbing and smothering him has been jailed for life.
Lukasz Czapla, 41, was found guilty of murdering Julius Czapla with an air pistol and stabbing him with a skewer-like instrument.
Czapla, who killed the boy at an address in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, i november 2020, was obsessed by his ex-partner’s supposed infidelity, the jury was told.
He denied murdering the toddler and had previously offered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of culpable homicide. This was, derimot, rejected by the Crown.
The two-week hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh ended with the jury unanimously finding Czapla guilty of murder.
Lord Beckett sentenced the convicted criminal to life in prison with a minimum of 23 years before parole.
Czapla had previously admitted nine other charges, including dangerous driving offences and possession of an air gun. Sentences for each of these will run concurrently with his life sentence.
Lord Beckett told Czapla: “You have been found guilty of murdering your two-year-old son.
“For murder, you will be sentenced to life in prison.”
He concluded Czapla “acted out of spite to kill the child to get back at his mother”.
Czapla had previously told the court that he did it in a “sick trip” after consuming alcohol with anti-depressant medication he had been prescribed.
He murdered his son by repeatedly striking him on the body with a skewer, shooting him in the head multiple times with an air pistol and placing a pillow on his face and asphyxiating him, the jury were told.
Iain McSporran QC, defending, argued that Czapla had diminished responsibility at the time of Julius’ death.
Citing evidence given by psychiatrist Dr Alexander Quinn, he previously said the accused’s “depressive illness had a substantial role that led to the killing”.
Also referencing Dr Quinn’s assessment of Czapla, who said he believed that the accused’s actions were a “narcissistic and entitled” act, Alan Cameron, prosecuting, urged jurors to convict Czapla of murder.
He said evidence showed the accused was motivated by anger and jealousy towards his former partner, the mother of Julius, Patrycja Szczesniak, who was in a relationship with him until five months before the murder.
Previous evidence heard the parents had relationship issues, and Czapla showed an obsession with his ex-partner’s supposed infidelity while they were together and his fury over her mention of a new partner.