Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 16:10 UK

Polish rapist's conviction upheld

Jakub Tomczak
Jakub Tomczak is serving his sentence in a Polish prison

A Polish man convicted of rape and grievous bodily harm with intent by Exeter Crown Court has had his sentence upheld by a court in Poland.

Jakub Tomczak, 24, was found guilty of raping a woman and leaving her for dead under a van after attacking her on her way home from a night out in Exeter.

He was convicted and given two life sentences in January this year.

Poznan District Court in Poland has now upheld those sentences, which Tomczak is serving in a Polish prison.

Under Polish law all cases involving Polish nationals convicted abroad are reconsidered by a Polish court once they are repatriated.

If the judge considers the original sentence is too severe he may reduce it.

But in Tomczak's case a judge in Poznan agreed that he should serve the tariff given to him by the British court.

Devon and Cornwall Police said members of the original investigation team travelled to Poznan for the hearing to "represent and fully update the victim and her family".

'National attention'

The force said Tomczak was "likely" to appeal against the Polish court's decision.

It said the case had attracted "national attention" in Poland.

Tomczak's 48-year-old victim was found naked and unconscious in Redlands Close in the Whipton area of Exeter on 22 July 2006.

At the trial, the jury heard how she had been "left for dead" under a van.

She suffered a skull fracture and brain damage in the attack.

Her injuries were so severe she was left with no memory of what had happened.

DNA evidence

Mr Tomczak, a law student, had been on a night out in the city, where his movements were tracked by CCTV camera.

After the attack, he returned to Poland where, four months later, he voluntarily gave a DNA sample to local police at the request of UK officers.

The sample was analysed in the UK, where it matched the DNA profile taken from semen found on the victim.

Mr Tomczak was brought back to the UK to face trial under a European arrest warrant.


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