Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Murder trial told ex-Fife College worker killed toddler son in ‘anger’

The Julius Czapla murder trial is happening at Edinburgh High Court.
Julius Czapla's father has been found guilty of murder at the High Court in Edinburgh.

A former Fife College worker who allegedly murdered his toddler son was motivated in his actions by “anger” and “jealousy” towards the child’s mother, a court has heard.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron told jurors on Tuesday that Lukasz Czapla, 41, killed two-year-old Julius to “get back” at and “hurt” his former partner Patrycja Szczesniak after discovering she had started a new relationship.

He was making submissions in the trial of Mr Czapla, of Muirhouse, Edinburgh, who has admitted to being responsible for the culpable homicide of Julius but denies murdering the child.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Czapla sent a series of text messages to Patrycja on the night Julius died at a house in the city in November 2020.

The jury was told that in the messages, Mr Czapla asked Patrycja about her new partner and her sex life. But she didn’t answer the questions.

Closing speeches

In his closing speech to jurors, Mr Cameron spoke of evidence given by Mr Czapla earlier in his trial in which he said he decided to kill Julius for altruistic reasons.

Mr Czapla’s lawyers claim that this and other evidence shows that the accused didn’t murder Julius but was in fact responsible for his culpable homicide – as he was allegedly of diminished responsibility at the time.

Julius Czapla.
Julius Czapla.

However, Mr Cameron said the evidence before the jury showed a different reason for why Mr Czapla killed Julius and that he was motivated by anger and jealousy.

Urging jurors to convict Mr Czapla of murder, Mr Cameron made reference to evidence given to court by consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Alex Quinn who said he believed that Mr Czapla’s actions were a “narcissistic and entitled” act.

He also made reference to evidence given to court by Mr Czapla’s friend Wojciech Marchlewski, 41 and to evidence given by consultant psychiatrist Deborah Mountain.

Mr Cameron said: “The accused sent four separate messages during the course of 10 minutes in which he asked her about her sex life and with reference to a graphic sexual act.

“Again, I suggest that what really set him off that night, what p***ed him off, what infuriated him to use his own language was her refusal to answer questions about her new partner and their sex life – not about her son at all.

“All these factors, I suggest point away from the altruistic motive and towards the alternative put forward by Dr Quinn – that of revenge and jealously.”

Mr Cameron said: “He was furious with his ex partner who had told him about her new partner and refused to answer his sexual questions.

“He took pills and a significant amount of alcohol which removed the control that he had over his impulses and in a fit of anger and spite killed his son to get back at and hurt his former partner.

“That he may deeply regret it now is of no moment. All that matters is that he did it.”

In his closing speech to the jury, Mr Cameron made reference to Mr Czapla’s evidence that he was concerned about Patrycja mistreating Julius following the couple’s split in June 2020.

He said the jury heard evidence which showed that Mr Czapla had complimented his former partner’s parenting skills.

Mr Cameron also told the jury that they may conclude that the accused’s claims of diminished responsibility were a “tactical ploy” to minimise his punishment.

‘Even if it sticks in your throat’

Defence solicitor advocate Iain McSporran QC urged jurors to convict his client on the culpable homicide charge.

He said he did not seek the jury’s “sympathy” for his client. Speaking about Patrycja, Mr McSporran added: “How on Earth can she ever hope to recover from the loss which she has suffered in the circumstances?”

But he added that the evidence in the case showed that Mr Czapla was guilty of culpable homicide.

He added: “You should return a verdict of guilty and a verdict of culpable homicide even if it goes against the grain. Even if sticks in your throat. Even if you do so with regret and reluctance.

“You should return that verdict because by doing that you have complied with the oath or the affirmation you made at the outset to return a true verdict according to the evidence.”

Czapla is accused of murdering his son at his house in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, on November 20 or 21 2020 by assaulting him and repeatedly striking him on the body with a skewer, repeatedly discharging an air pistol at him and repeatedly shooting him in the head and placing a pillow on his face and asphyxiating the child.

He pleaded guilty to culpable homicide – but prosecutors rejected the plea at the start of proceedings.

Crown lawyers have accepted guilty pleas to motoring and drugs offences.

The trial, before judge Lord Beckett continues on Wednesday.

Already a subscriber? Sign in