‘Scared’ man cleared of murder charge in Cowley home attack

A man accused of stabbing and killing an intruder after three men grabbed him at his front door pushing their way inside his home has been cleared of murder and manslaughter.

Rafal Stawski, 34, of Mayfair Road, Oxford, denied murdering Wojciech Ryniak after the victim and the two others entered his Cowley home in April. He was acquitted by an Oxford Crown Court jury yesterday after a week-and-a-half-long trial.

The three men seized Stawski as he returned home from work at night and pushed him inside the house with the intention of robbing him, the court was told on Monday.

Stawski managed to break free from the two men holding him while the third was in the kitchen. He ran upstairs to his bedroom and after a struggle at the door with one of the intruders managed to shut it, before taking a knife from a shelf.

Speaking via a Polish translator, Stawski told the court: “I was so petrified or scared that if I moved away from the door they would come back upstairs.

“You don’t think in that sort of situation.

“When I had the knife in my hand, I looked around in my bedroom. I didn’t want to take it. I wanted to find something I could

defend myself with.” The court heard how Stawski left the room and stabbed one of the men – Mr Ryniak – in the chest while he was standing on the stairs.

Mr Ryniak was later found inside a red Mazda car close to the junction of North Way and Burchester Avenue in Barton on April 21. He died in hospital the following day.

Amjad Malik, prosecuting, said to Stawski: “You have a knife in your hand and you have a mobile phone and you didn’t even try and telephone [the police].” Stawski replied: “There was no point. There was no signal at all.”

The court was told that when Stawksi arrived home after 10pm on April 21 the three men who had been hiding in the garden took hold of his face.

One of the men went into the kitchen and began looking through cupboards while the other two held Stawski.

Stawski was also cleared of a charge of manslaughter.

Four men were acquitted of robbery following a trial at the court on September 28.

Marek Hnida, 31 of Fettiplace Road, Oxford, was acquitted of conspiracy to commit a robbery and possession of a stungun.

Radoslaw Litwiak, 27, of East Street, Dudley, was acquitted of conspiracy to commit robbery and to kidnap.

Lukasz Kwapis, 31, and Pawel Wysocki, 27, both also of East Street, Dudley, were acquitted of conspiracy to commit robbery.