Homeless Polish man subjected to ‘brutal and relentless attack’

Piotr Krowka
Piotr Krowka

A Polish man living rough in Maghera was subjected to a brutal and relentless attack up to 45 minutes in duration, a court was told.

Adrian Kozak (18), of Craigmore Heights in Maghera, had an application for bail refused at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court.

Kozak, along with a 17-year-old youth who cannot be identified, is accused of murdering Piotr Krowka, 36, on March 31.

Mr Krowka’s remains were found at a property on the Glen Road, Maghera, on April 3.

District Judge Paul Copeland heard the youth had been granted bail with strict conditions by Dungannon Juvenile Court.

Objecting to bail, a PSNI detective inspector said the victim was last seen alive around 9pm on March 31 being followed by a person police believe was Kozak. He said there was an initial assault and Kozak ran off and sought assistance from a number of others, one of whom is believed to have been the 17-year-old.

The detective inspector alleged a sustained assault was then carried out on the victim which resulted in his death. He said police believed Kozak was the principle aggressor.

The detective said there was no direct motive for the assault on “this vulnerable man.” He believed if the accused was released he could endanger the local community and interfere with witnesses. He also raised concern that he could leave the jurisdiction.

The officer said they were concerned Kozak could commit further offences as he was a suspected member of a gang called the ‘Magherafia’ which caused residents concerns due to anti-social behaviour.

Defence barrister Liam McStay argued that Kozak should be granted bail to live with his parents.

District Judge Copeland refused bail and remanded Kozak in custody to appear again on November 14,