Two guilty of killing man who stole illegal cigarettes

two guilty of killing man who stole illegal cigarettes - Two guilty of killing man who stole illegal cigarettesImage copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Tomasz Urbaniak and Krzystof Solosciuk were both found guilty of manslaughter

Two men have been convicted of killing a man after he allegedly stole a van-load of illegal cigarettes from them.

Lukasz Grabowski, 32, was found near Gloucestershire Royal Hospital with serious head injuries on 21 November 2018 and died later that day.

Krzystof Solosciuk, 39, of Pound Drive, Bristol, and Tomasz Urbaniak, 36, of no fixed address, were both found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

They will be sentenced on Friday.

Solosciuk had denied murder, along with Urbaniak.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Lucasz Grabowski died after he was left near Gloucestershire Royal Hospital with serious injuries

During the trial, the prosecution said the killing was part of the “fallout” of a plot to import illegal cigarettes from Ukraine.

The cigarettes were stored temporarily in a warehouse in Luton, before Mr Grabowski drove a van containing £300,000 worth of them to Bristol, “effectively stealing them from an organised crime group”, the court heard.

The jury was told Mr Grabowski, from Bristol, was attacked by three men in an alleyway at the back of the Edward Hotel in Gloucester where they had all been staying last November.

Mr Grabowski was dumped 45 minutes later near to the entrance to the hospital in Great Western Road, Gloucester.

He had suffered serious injuries and could not be resuscitated.

The court heard not long after the attack Mr Grabowski’s parents in Poland were visited by two men who told them “when he gives it back to us everything will be OK”, but Mr Grabowski had already been killed.

Image copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption The court heard Lukasz Grabowski had stolen £300,000 of illegal cigarettes from the crime gang

Following the trial, Det Ch Insp Ruth Mather said Mr Grabowski had “clearly got in with a bad crowd” and had “tried to solve his own financial problems by stealing from them”.

Mr Grabowski’s family said the verdicts would “not bring Lukasz back to his family”.

“Lukasz is missed greatly by his family and friends. We have waited a long time for justice.”

A European arrest warrant has been issued for a third suspect, Krystian Czelewicz.

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