Thug who ambushed ex-girlfriend in an alleyway jailed for life

Murderous thug who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death during alleyway ambush and tried to cut off her head with a kitchen knife after she dumped him is jailed for life

  • Dennis Akpomedaye, 30, stabbed Anna Jedrkowiak, 21, with a knife 40 times
  • The court previously heard how the young woman ended their relationship

A 30-year-old man has been jailed for life today after he ambushed his ex-girlfriend and tried to cut off her head with a kitchen knife in west London last year. 

Dennis Akpomedaye was handed a minimum term of 29 years for the murder of 21-year-old Polish student Anna Jedrkowiak, known as Ania, in Ealing, west London in May last year.

Akpomedaye, from Newport, South Wales, waited for Ania to finish her shift at Las Iguanas in Ealing, west London on May 17 last year before he followed her and her friend to a deserted alleyway.

Wearing a balaclava and with his hood up, he stabbed the 21-year-old, known as Ania, 40 times, including a wound to her neck that detectives believe was an attempt to decapitate her.

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Howie, who led the investigation into her death, said: ‘This was an extremely violent and ferocious attack.’

Dennis Akpomedaye, 30, from Newport, Wales, was handed a life sentence with a minimum 29-year term

He stabbed his former partner Ania Jedrkowiak, 21, at least 40 times in an alleyway in Ealing, west London

Ania was ‘a bright, lively, positive lady’ who had been concerned for Akpomedaye’s welfare following the split, he said.

Akpomedaye, of Blewitt Street, Newport, was found guilty of her murder at Kingston Crown Court earlier this month.

Judge Rajeev Shetty, sentencing at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday, said the attack was ‘ferocious and savage’.

He added: ‘There is no mitigation here, there is no evidence of a mental disorder or disability.’

The pair met online in January 2021 and dated for around a year, before Ania brought the relationship to an end.

By this time Ania, who was originally from Poland, was studying at West London University and had a part-time job. 

Police said in the weeks before her murder Akpomedaye, who could not accept the break-up, began trying to manipulate her.

Ms Jedrkowiak’s mother Danuta, who lives in Poland, said in a statement read to the court: ‘He, this murderer, is still alive and will be for many more years, despite the fact he took my daughter’s life.’

She said the ‘barbaric’ way her daughter died meant her heart ‘broke with grief and despair’.

Ms Jedrkowiak’s sister, Katareyna Glowacka, 39, who lives in the UK, was tearful in court as a statement describing her ‘despair, helplessness and complete disbelief’ was read out.

University student Ania Jedrkowiak was pronounced dead at the scene in Church Gardens, Ealing, west London last year

A large police presence at the scene  in the hours after the violent attack

Police at the scene in South Ealing after Ms Jedrkowiak was pronounced dead despite the efforts of paramedics 

She said: ‘I am also very angry. I have been robbed of the opportunity to have a sister in my life.’

Ms Glowacka, who was pregnant when her sister died, added: ‘It is heartbreaking that my little baby boy will never meet his auntie.’

She said her ‘smart, tenacious and ambitious’ sister, who was also ‘caring, kind and thoughtful’, was a gifted musician.

Jack Maskell, 21, who worked at Las Iguanas, was walking with Ms Jedrkowiak when she was murdered after the pair became ‘more than just friends’.

He told the court: ‘I have been left with indescribable memories that can never been erased.

‘It was dark and cruel. I will never unsee what he did to her.’

Mr Maskell said seeing the killing has left him with ‘significant emotional problems’ such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

He also told of feeling regret despite his efforts to save Ms Jedrkowiak, adding: ‘I will never know if I could have stopped what happened.’

Judge Shetty told him not to feel regret, saying there was ‘nothing’ he could have done.

Addressing Ms Jedrkowiak’s family, the judge said: ‘You have been present in court for the entire trial and sentence and heard the most painful evidence of Ania’s last moments.

‘I cannot imagine the horror and upset you have experienced and I know, as has been said, that Ania’s premature death will leave a hole in your lives that can never be closed.

‘What I can say is that you have behaved with dignity. The sentence cannot do much to help you grieve or recover, save that I hope it at least completes a process of justice being done.’

Akpomedaye, who was born in Nigeria, met Ms Jedrkowiak online in January 2021 and they dated for around a year before she ended the relationship.

In the weeks before her murder Akpomedaye, who could not accept the break up, began trying to manipulate her by threatening suicide.

Kerim Fuad KC, defending, said: ‘It is truly tragic and awful that a relationship once so full of hope and love can have come to this.

‘The photographs that the jury were shown of the defendant and Ms Jedrkowiak speak of happiness, love and hope for the future.

‘Her life was to be ended by the defendant’s act borne of rejection and jealousy.’

He told the court Akpomedaye had been ‘slowly falling down a dark hole’, living in maggot-infested ‘squalor’ and facing financial difficulty.

In the weeks before the murder he told Ms Jedrkowiak: ‘We will be together no matter what. I will find you.’

‘Unfortunately, he clearly meant it,’ Mr Howie said.

Akpomedaye was himself injured during the horrifying attack, giving false names when he twice went to hospital for treatment.

He used a bizarre cover story that he was a sword performer hurt when a trick had gone wrong.

But the killer had left a trail of blood leading from the scene, taking detectives to where he had dumped items that he had stolen from Ania in a pond in Gunnersbury Park.

Using CCTV, forensic evidence and phone analysis, Metropolitan police officers managed to arrest him within 22 hours of Ania’s death.

He was caught at Victoria coach station trying to return home to Wales.

Police say he has never shown any remorse for the murder, refusing to answer officers’ questions or to attend court for his trial.

‘This was an unfortunate case of a man who could not come to terms with the break-up of the relationship,’ Mr Howie said.

Ania’s heartbroken mother has travelled over from Poland to attend court for the proceedings, alongside her sister who lives in the UK.

The pair along with Ania’s friends held a moving vigil a year on from her death, walking her final route and placing a flower and a picture at the spot where she died.

Mr Howie added: ‘From our investigation she was such a bright, lively, positive young lady that only wanted the best for people. It’s just tragic what’s happened to her.

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