Julius Czapla death trial: Jury to decide if father guilty of murder

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Jurors have returned to court to deliberate in the trial of a man who killed his two-year-old son.

Lukasz Czapla has been charged with murdering Julius Czapla at an address in Muirehouse, Edinburgh, in November 2020.

The 41-year-old has previously told the High Court in Edinburgh that he shot his son in the head with an air gun before stabbing him with a skewer-like instrument and smothering him with a pillow.

The court heard Czapla said he did it in a “sick trip” after having consumed alcohol with anti-depressant medication he had been prescribed at the time.

He denies murdering the toddler and has previously offered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

This was, however, rejected by the Crown.

Jurors heard lawyers’ closing arguments on Tuesday before retiring to deliberate on Wednesday morning after taking legal direction from Lord Beckett.

Czapla is accused of murdering his son on 20 or 21 November 2020 by repeatedly striking him on the body with a skewer, shooting him in the head multiple times with an air pistol and placing a pillow on his face and asphyxiating him.

Iain McSporran QC, defending, has urged jurors to convict his client on a culpable homicide charge, arguing that Czapla had diminished responsibility at the time of Julius’ death.

Citing evidence given by psychiatrist, Dr Alexander Quinn, he has previously said the accused’s “depressive illness had a substantial role that led to the killing.”

Also referencing Dr Quinn’s assessment of Czapla, who said he believed that the accused’s actions were a “narcissistic and entitled” act, Alan Cameron, prosecuting, urged jurors to convict Czapla of murder.

He said evidence before the jury showed the accused was motivated by anger and jealousy towards his former partner, the mother of Julius, Patrycja Szczesniak, who was in a relationship with him until June 2020.

Previous evidence heard the parents had relationship issues, with Czapla showing an obsession about his ex-partner’s supposed infidelity while they were together and his fury over her mention of a new partner.

Czapla has pleaded guilty to nine other charges which include dangerous driving, drug possession and having an air weapon.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.

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