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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Boyfriend jailed for lake murder
Amilton "Nico" Bento
Bento was ordered to serve a minimum term of 14 years
The boyfriend of a Polish woman whose body was found in a Bedfordshire lake has been found guilty of her murder.

Amilton "Nico" Bento, 28, of Rutland Road, Bedford, had denied murdering Kamila Garsztka, 26, in December 2005.

Luton Crown Court heard he was caught out by a single grainy CCTV picture of Miss Garsztka as she walked to meet him at Priory Marina, Bedford.

Bento was given a life sentence and told that he must serve a minimum term of 14 years.

Messages wiped

The body of Miss Garsztka was spotted floating in the marina by a school party on a rowing lesson on 24 January 2006.

The prosecution had claimed Bento arranged to meet Miss Garsztka on the evening of 12 December 2005 at the marina where they had spent their first date.

Bento denied he had arranged to meet her and said he was not at the marina at all on the night in question.

A former homicide detective in Las Vegas enhanced a tiny CCTV image to show Miss Garsztka was wearing a shoulder bag which she took everywhere with her.

The court heard Bento later took the bag back to his flat, wiped her mobile phone numbers and messages, in an effort to make it look like a suicide.

The prosecution alleged that Bento was jealous and believed Miss Garsztka was going to leave him.

'Plan backfired'

A post-mortem examination on Ms Garsztka's body was inconclusive as to the cause of death, but drowning was ruled out as there was no water or silt in her lungs.

Mr Justice Calvert-Smith told Bento: "It is the finding of that image that has led you to your current position.

"You set about creating a smoke screen that would divert attention from you, but the plan backfired. Something happened that night at the lake which caused you to lose your temper.

"I do not believe there was a plan to kill her or even assault her, but something happened to cause you to see red."

Kamila Garsztkha's body was not found for six weeks after she was reported missing

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