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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Liam Thorp

Thug repeats Thomas Cashman's cowardly actions after killing student

A man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death in an alleyway has been branded a 'proper coward' after repeating the spineless actions of child killer Thomas Cashman in court.

Dennis Akpomedaye, 30, tried to decapitate former girlfriend Anna Jedrkowiak while stabbing her almost 40 times in Ealing, west London, having stalked her from his home in Newport, South Wales last May.

The 30-year-old waited in a balaclava and with his hood up for the 21-year-old - who was known as Ania - to finish her shift at a Las Iguanas restaurant before following her and killing her.

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Akpomedaye did not appear in court on Wednesday as the judge at Kingston Crown Court jailed him for life, with a minimum term of 29 years. He had also not been present at the trial that ended with his conviction for murder.

His cowardly actions have reignited calls for new laws to be put in place to make it much harder for killers to refuse to appear in court and face the families of their victims.

This has happened in a number of high profile cases in recent times - notably earlier this year when Thomas Cashman refused to appear at his sentencing after he was found guilty of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Dovecot last summer.

Olivia's mum Cheryl Korbel has backed calls by the ECHO and other newspapers for a change in the law that would punish further those killers who choose to hide away from those they have harmed.

Former Justice Secretary Dominic Raab had committed to changing the law before he resigned from his position. When asked recently, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak refused to commit to the change in this Parliament.

Speaking after the case at Kingston Crown Court and Akpomedaye's failure to appear, Ms Jedrkowiak’s sister, Katareyna Glowacka said: “It just shows his true character, that he is a proper coward.

“He committed a crime but he is not able to face us, he’s not able to look us in the eyes. For me personally, it’s really disrespectful that he killed my sister and he didn’t show any remorse.

“He never gave any statement why he did it, he just killed her and went about his life like nothing ever happened, which is horrible.”

The shocking murder and the failure for Akpomedaye to appear in court is only likely to strengthen the calls for a law change. It's a change the Labour Party have repeatedly called for.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer previously backed the calls for the change after Cashman's trial.

He said: "The unimaginable agony that Olivia’s family now carry can’t be erased. But we can honour Olivia’s memory, and her family’s courage, by establishing a change in the law.

“While the family bravely went to court for Olivia, and for justice, her killer was allowed to hide away. Refusing to face his punishment, he cowardly whimpered away in a cell.

“That this has been allowed is a shameful gap in the system and one I’m determined to see closed.

“As Director of Public Prosecutions I saw the importance of victims and their families being able to face their perpetrators. It brings an element of closure, and gives victims of crime confidence that if they come forward the system will work wholly and fairly for them. Victims must be at the heart of our justice system.

“For Olivia, her mum, her family, and for all victims, who deserve nothing less than full justice, I stand squarely behind the Echo’s campaign for a change in the law.”


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