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Bury St Edmunds: Gang members jailed for botched burglary at shop of murdered jeweller

PUBLISHED: 09:53 02 November 2012

Floral tributes have been laid outside Collis & Sons jewellers in Abbeygate Street Bury St Edmunds to Peter Avis (66) who died of stab wounds upstairs in a flat above the shop.

Floral tributes have been laid outside Collis & Sons jewellers in Abbeygate Street Bury St Edmunds to Peter Avis (66) who died of stab wounds upstairs in a flat above the shop.

Archant

Gang jailed for burglary at Bury jewellers

Peter Avis, 66, who was described as an “old fashioned jeweller” was found dead with 13 stab wounds in his chest in his flat above Collis & Son in Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds on January 13.

Mr Avis, who lived alone and had difficulty walking, had also been hit in the face with a glass ashtray and was found lying on his bed covered in papers which had been thrown from drawers as the property was ransacked during the burglary, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Before the court yesterday were Pawel Borowiecki, 31, of London, Aleksandra Karpiuk, 27, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, Kamel Kita, 20, of no fixed address and Pawel Pacian, 34, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds.

Borowiecki, who had denied conspiracy to burgle Mr Avis’s shop but was found guilty by a jury earlier this month was jailed for five years and Kita who admitted burglary was jailed for three years.

Karpiuk, who had denied conspiracy to burgle Mr Avis’s shop and assisting an offender but was found guilty after a a trial was jailed for four years and Pacian, who admitted handling stolen goods was jailed for 18 months.

A fifth defendant Ireneusz Melanuik, 28, of no fixed address, who admitted murdering Mr Avis and burglary was due to be sentenced yesterday but his case was adjourned.

Sentencing the defendants Judge John Devaux said it was accepted that none of them foresaw that a murder might be committed during the burglary.

He described Mr Avis as “vulnerable” and said the defendants had somehow learned that his premises were “waiting to be burgled”.

He said Kita had gone into the premises with Melanuik while Borowiecki and Karpiuk had been involved in the planning of the raid. Pacian had been arrested in London within hours of the burglary and was found in possession of silverware and other items stolen from Mr Avis’s shop.

Judge Devaux said that after the burglary the defendants had met up at Karpiuk’s flat and she had driven them to Stansted airport knowing by that stage that Melanuik had killed someone during the burglary.

The court heard it was not known exactly what had been stolen during the burglary but police had managed to recover jewellery and silverware with an insurance value of more than £17,000.

Andrew Shaw for Kita said his client had initially been arrested on suspicion of murder and had eight months of worry before finding out that charge had been dropped.

Gerald Page for Pacian said he had no previous convictions and was genuinely sorry for becoming involved in handling the stolen goods.

Adam Budworth for Borowiecki said his client had not envisaged that violence would be used during the burglary or that the premises would be ransacked.

Lindsay Cox for Karpuik said she had been exploited by people who were more criminally sophisticated than her.

He said no stolen items were found in her flat and she hadn’t made any money out of her involvement in what happened. He said his client, who had worked as a security guard, had lost everything and was concerned for the well-being of her young daughter if she was sent to prison.

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