On Air Now
Rob Howard & Lauren Layfield 6am - 10am
11 February 2019, 08:08 | Updated: 11 February 2019, 08:10
A heroin addict killed a 100-year-old widow in a street robbery in Derby and hid under a bed at his mother's house to avoid arrest, a court has heard.
Artur Waszkiewicz is alleged to have knocked Zofija Kaczan to the floor, taken her handbag and left her to bleed in the middle of the road as she made her way to church in Normanton, Derby, on May 28 last year.
Following his arrest, the defendant told officers he was too unwell to interview because he was "withdrawing from drugs".
Addressing the jury on Friday, the defendant said he had been a drug user since the age of 18 and had been to visit his dealer at the time of the incident to purchase £20 worth of heroin.
Polish-born widow Ms Kaczan suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured neck and cheekbone, before her condition deteriorated.
She died from pneumonia in hospital on June 6 - a condition which would only have been brought on by the injuries sustained in the attack, the court was told.
Waszkiewicz denied ever seeing the pensioner and told the court he was not responsible for her death.
He said he had seen the handbag on the floor and had picked it up to find cash, but Ms Kaczan was nowhere to be seen.
Derby Crown Court heard he had bought a Seat Leon car, which was captured on CCTV at the scene at the time of the incident, for £300 from his father - and admitted driving it despite not having a licence.
The jury was told that shortly afterwards, the 40-year-old shaved his head to significantly alter his appearance - something the defendant claimed was due to his mother telling him he "looked rough".
The trial previously heard Waszkiewicz robbed the centenarian at 8.45am, close to the junction of St Chads Road and Empress Road in Normanton, because he was desperate for money and she was an easy target to steal from.
Wearing a velvet jacket and velvet slipper shoes as he took to the stand on Friday, the defendant said he hid under the bed because he was "scared" and "shocked" that the police had come back to see him.
Describing his movements on the day of the incident, Waszkiewicz said: "I met my dealer and obtained £20 of heroin.
"I did not know the victim. I had never seen her. I did not know she carried large amounts of cash."
Asked by his barrister David Nathan QC if he had robbed Ms Kaczan, the defendant said: "I did not rob her. Definitely not."
Describing what happened when he arrived at his mother's address before his arrest, Waszkiewicz said: "When I got to my mother's house, she said I looked rough with long hair. She told me to cut it.
"It was getting hot. I was sweating a lot.
"When I was arrested, I didn't tell police about picking up the bag."
The defendant continued: "I hid under the bed because I was scared.
"I had just been released and now they were coming to arrest me for something else.
"I had no idea she had died. I did not rob that lady. I am not responsible for her death."
Waszkiewicz, of Hilary Road in Shepherd's Bush, west London, denies manslaughter and robbery.
The trial continues.