The 41-year-old faces a minimum of 23 years behind bars.
04 May 2022
A father who killed his two-year-old son in a “truly evil” murder has been jailed for life and ordered to spend a minimum of 23 years behind bars.
Lukasz Czapla, 41, was unanimously found guilty of the killing of Julius Czapla at an address in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, in November 2020.
After he discovered the youngster’s mother was in a new relationship, Czapla shot his son in the head with a BB gun, stabbed him with a skewer-like instrument and smothered him with a pillow.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard it was in an act of “revenge and jealousy” to “get back” at his former partner.
Following the verdict, Patrycja Szczesniak, Julius’ mother, released at statement through Police Scotland saying her little boy had trusted his father “completely”.
She said: “Despite the break-up with Julius’s dad, I wanted him to have contact with our son.
“I never stopped him seeing Julius.
“Julek (Julius) loved him like every child loves their dad. He trusted him, he trusted him completely.
“Julius was murdered only for revenge.
“His dad wanted me to suffer, he succeeded and achieved his goal, at the cost of my beloved little boy’s life.”
The former IT technician offered to plead guilty to culpable homicide, claiming diminished responsibility, but prosecutors declined his plea and pursued a murder conviction.
The two-week hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh ended with a jury unanimously finding Czapla guilty of murder.
Immediately after the jury delivered its verdict, judge Lord Beckett sentenced Czapla to life in prison, with a minimum of 23 years before he can be considered for parole.
Addressing Czapla, Lord Beckett said: “As a result of your actions, your son will never grow up.”
He described the murder as “truly evil, causing a defenceless child considerable distress”.
The court had heard Czapla had been drinking alcohol and had taken prescribed anti-depressants the night he killed his son.
However, Lord Beckett told him: “There is no excuse you were filled with drink and drugs.
“You acted out of spite to kill this child to get back at his mother.”
Czapla, who showed no reaction when the verdict was called, was led away in handcuffs.
Lord Beckett offered members of the jury counselling services, adding: “I suspect this case exceeds the awfulness of cases that we hear.
“There can be nothing in your lives that will prepare you for this experience, I imagine it’s taken quite a toll for you to hear about such terrible violence inflicted on such a defenceless child for no reason, and bad reasons.”