'Reckless' husband spent dead wife's life insurance on holidays with new girlfriend - leaving her children unable to pay rent
A Corby man whose young wife tragically died stole her £200,000 life insurance payout and spent it on failed businesses, a new girlfriend and luxury holidays. Krzysztof Baczyński’s wife Anna Miszczuk died two months after a cancer diagnosis in September 2017.
Less than a month later he fooled her daughter, the trustee of her £200k insurance policies, into signing over the money to his bank account for safe-keeping. The money had been due to go to Anna’s younger son when he turned 25.
Sickeningly, he spent the critical illness part of the payout while his wife was still alive. Baczyński gave his step-children the impression he was taking care of the money, but he was actually spending it on holidays and propping up his failing business which was part of a cosmetics pyramid scheme. He even invested in a shop in Market Street in Wellingborough.
In the months after her death he went to Tenerife, Moscow and Poland with a new girlfriend. He also took Anna’s unwitting, grieving, children on holiday with him, pretending that his flourishing business was paying for the trips.
The 40-year-old, the former owner of The Gallery of Taste restaurant on the Danesholme estate, also gave generous loans to pals and hired hot-tubs for him and his new girlfriend. He burned through the entire £200,000 in just nine months.
Anna’s children were devastated when they learned the truth. Baczynski appeared at Northampton Crown Court dishevelled, unkempt and unbathed, and almost unrecognisable from the man who spent the year after his wife’s death partying and travelling the world.
He stood hunched over in a green t-shirt and anorak as the prosecutor outlined his illegality. In a moving victim impact statement, Baczynski’s step-daughter said that the defendant had previously been like a father to them, and they had been left destroyed by his actions.
She said: “Had me and my brother received the payments, our financial situation would have been very different. We are currently in debt and our mother’s death had a great effect on us. We were not able to pay the rent last month.”
She said her daughter was a talented pianist but she could no longer afford lessons for her. They had been unable to go and see Anna’s parents who had been sick and the son had had to give up college to try to pay the bills.
She had been unable to afford driving lessons to help her get a better job and said that since her mother’s death the siblings had realised that Baczynski had been lying to them about their biological father.
"I feel like my brother and I lost years of having kind of relationship with our father because of his poisoning of our minds. When my mother was dying she felt like her children were financially secure.
“This incident has taken over my life. I’ve been unable to forget about it. It’s been hard to put into words the gravity of the impact this has had.”
Mitigating for Baczynski, now of Market Street, Wellingborough, barrister Catherine Rose said her client was of previous good character but currently had nowhere permanent to live.
"This was an opportunistic crime, once he had the money in his account,” she said. “His only significant personal relationship is with his dog.”
Following a trial, Baczynski was convicted of one count of fraud and cleared of another count of fraud by false representation.
At a sentencing hearing on Monday (December 4) His Honour Judge David Herbert KC said: “The money was released into your account with the knowledge of your step-daughter. Both her and her brother were unaware that you began to spend the money in the way that you did. I am quite satisfied that it was Anna’s wish that her son should receive all of that money. The evidence in the trial was that money would be shared with his sister.”
Judge Herbert said that Baczynski began spending the money ‘as if it were his own’ as soon as it dropped into his account.
"Within nine months you had spent it all,” he said. "The jury heard how you spent it on various holidays around Europe, a car, investing significant sums of money in your business. You were also loaning sums of money to others. It’s now all gone.
“Anna’s children were under the impression you were doing well in your business. "You don’t seem to be able to accept that was Anna’s children’s inheritance. It was her dying wish they received it to set them up for life.
"You agreed those wishes and failed to safeguard the money for her children and essentially squandered it on yourself.
"Your reckless attitude to the money is well summed-up by photographs of you living it up in restaurants and relaxing in hot-tubs with a girl with whom you were in a relationship at that time.
"You even gifted her some of the money. It’s clear you have no idea how disgustingly you have behaved. You still persist in your claim you were going to repay the money.
"I am quite satisfied you won’t and never had any intention of doing so. Now, when the money is long-gone you have still done nothing to redress the position.”
He was given a four-year jail term of which he will serve half in custody. The crown will also pursue Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings although it appears Baczynski has limited means.