DETECTIVES from the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Major Investigation Team have welcomed the sentence handed down to Dawid Lukasz Mietus for the murder of Patrycja Wyrebek.
The 25-year-old, who appeared at Laganside on Thursday , was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years' imprisonment, having pleaded guilty to murder.
Patrycja Wyrebek, who was 20 years old and originally from Poland, was found dead at her Newry home in August 2020.
Detective Inspector Mark Gibson said: “Patrycja was, tragically, found dead at her home on the morning of Sunday 2 August 2020. She had been murdered by her boyfriend, Dawid Mietus.
“Patrycja died of strangulation. The post mortem also revealed multiple injuries and bruising on her face and body.
“Mietus, having initially tried to hide any involvement, later claimed that Patrycja’s death was accidental. He maintained that she had died during sexual intercourse, as a result of consensual asphyxiation.
“Throughout this investigation, officers worked closely with prosecutors from the Public Prosecution Service. Due to the diligence of the investigation team, an abundance of evidence was gathered against Mietus, and he eventually confessed that he had strangled Patrycja after a domestic incident.
“This has been a particularly painful and distressing ordeal for Patrycja’s family, who remain absolutely heartbroken. They’ve had an agonising wait of over a year and a half to hear Mietus finally admit the truth.”
Detective Inspector Gibson went on to make an appeal to anyone who may feel trapped in an abusive relationship.
He continued: “Domestic abuse is not just physical. It can take many forms, including controlling behaviours and emotional and financial abuse.
“We know that victims can feel vulnerable, isolated and frightened. Trapped by their abusers' manipulations. We also sadly know, as seen in this case, that domestic abuse can fatally escalate.
“I am keen to encourage any victims of abuse to come forward. We will help you. We’ll listen to you and we will treat you with total respect and sensitivity. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
“Please contact us on 101, or in an emergency call 999.”
For further information, including details of organisations who can help, visit the Police Service’s website www.psni.police.uk/crime/domestic-abuse/who-can-help-me