MURDER TRIAL: Family pays tribute to ‘loving person’

Janusz Smoderek
Janusz Smoderek

The family of the man murdered by Stephen Sleaford have today paid tribute to him as a ‘loving person’ and said they were glad the justice system ‘has not let us down’.

A jury at Lincoln Crown Court today found Stephen Sleaford, 38, guilty of murdering Janusz Smoderek on September 11 2011.

Sleaford now faces a life sentence and will be behind bars for a minimum of 23 years.

During the hearing it was said that Sleaford originally stepped in to stop Mr Smoderek molesting a young girl.

Mr Smoderek’s wife, Iwona, and daughters, Joanna, Agniszka and Malgorzata, have released the following statement: “Janusz was a loving person who was loved by everyone and who did not deserve what happened to him.

“We are grateful that his murderer has been found guilty and that the justice system has not let us down.

“We would like to thank the police for their thorough investigation and for all the support received throughout the whole ordeal.

“We are disappointed that some of the press reporting during the trial lost sight of the fact that Janusz was the victim and that we, as a family, were grieving.

“We will always remember him as a wonderful husband, father and grandad and he will always live in our hearts.”