Anna Jedrkowiak murder: Man who stalked ex for 130 miles before trying to behead her in ‘barbaric’ attack jailed for life
Dennis Akpomedaye has been jailed for life for the “ferocious and savage” attack
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A man who stalked his ex-girlfriend more than 130 miles across the country before stabbing her to death in an alleyway has been jailed for life.
Dennis Akpomedaye, 30, tried to behead 21-year-old Polish student Anna Jedrkowiak while stabbing her almost 40 times after midnight on 17 May last year.
The 30-year-old wore a balaclava and had his hood up as he waited for his ex, known as Ania, to finish her shift at Las Iguanas before following her and a young man she was close with. He then ambushed her and inflicted multiple stab wounds with a large kitchen knife which was used in an apparent attempt to decapitate her.
Mr Akpomedaye was also hurt during his attack and gave false names when he twice went to hospital for treatment. He used a bizarre cover story to explain his injuries, saying he was a sword performer whose trick had gone wrong.
But the killer had left a trail of blood from the scene, leading detectives to a pond in Gunnersby Park, where he had dumped items he stole from Ania. Using CCTV, forensic evidence and phone analysis, Metropolitan Police officers managed to arrest him within 22 hours of Ania’s death. He was caught at Victoria coach station trying to return home to Wales.
The court heard that Mr Akpomedaye, who was born in Nigeria, met Ania online in January 2021 and they dated for around a year before she ended the relationship. In the weeks before her murder, Mr Akpomedaye, who could not accept the break up, began trying to manipulate her by threatening suicide.
Kerim Fuad KC, defending, said: “It is truly tragic and awful that a relationship once so full of hope and love can have come to this. The photographs that the jury were shown of the defendant and Ms Jedrkowiak speak of happiness, love and hope for the future. Her life was to be ended by the defendant’s act borne of rejection and jealousy.”
He told the court that Mr Akpomedaye had been “slowly falling down a dark hole”, living in maggot-infested “squalor” and facing financial difficulty. In the weeks before the murder he told Ania: “We will be together no matter what. I will find you.”
Judge Rajeev Shetty, jailing Mr Akpomedaye at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday (31 May) with a minimum term of 29 years, said the attack was “ferocious and savage”, adding: “There is no mitigation here. There is no evidence of a mental disorder or disability.”
Ania’s mother Danuta, who lives in Poland, said the “barbaric” way her daughter died meant her heart “broke with grief and despair”. In a statement read to the court, she said: “He, this murderer, is still alive and will be for many more years, despite the fact he took my daughter’s life.”
Ania’s sister, Katareyna Glowacka, 39, who lives in the UK, was tearful in court as a statement describing her “despair, helplessness and complete disbelief” was read out. She said: “I am also very angry. I have been robbed of the opportunity to have a sister in my life.”
Ms Glowacka, who was pregnant when her sister died, added: “It is heartbreaking that my little baby boy will never meet his auntie.”
Jack Maskell, 21, who worked at Las Iguanas, was walking with Ania when she was murdered after the pair became “more than just friends” and said he has been left with “indescribable memories that can never be erased”. He said: “It was dark and cruel. I will never unsee what he did to her.”
Mr Maskell added that seeing the killing has left him with “significant emotional problems” such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and he also told of feeling regret despite his efforts to save Ania, adding: “I will never know if I could have stopped what happened.” Judge Shetty told him not to feel regret, saying there was “nothing” he could have done.
Addressing Ms Jedrkowiak’s family, the judge said: “You have been present in court for the entire trial and sentence and heard the most painful evidence of Ania’s last moments. I cannot imagine the horror and upset you have experienced and I know, as has been said, that Ania’s premature death will leave a hole in your lives that can never be closed.
“What I can say is that you have behaved with dignity. The sentence cannot do much to help you grieve or recover, save that I hope it at least completes a process of justice being done.”
Police say Mr Akpomedaye has never shown any remorse for the murder, refusing to answer officers’ questions or attend court for his trial or sentencing. Ms Glowacka called her sister’s killer a “proper coward” for not attending his sentencing and said his jail term should have been longer as he is a “danger” to society.
Speaking outside court, she said: “It just shows his true character, that he is a proper coward. He committed a crime but he is not able to face us, he’s not able to look us in the eyes.
“For me personally it’s really disrespectful that he killed my sister and he didn’t show any remorse. He never gave any statement why he did it, he just killed her and went about his life like nothing ever happened which is horrible.”