Man who stabbed ex-girlfriend to death in 'barbaric' west London attack after she ended relationship jailed for life

31 May 2023, 18:13 | Updated: 1 June 2023, 02:26

The family of Anna Jedrkowiak (right) family called her "a kind, gentle soul".
The family of Anna Jedrkowiak (right) family called her "a kind, gentle soul". Picture: Met Police

By Danielle De Wolfe

A man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death in a "ferocious" attack after she ended their relationship has been jailed for life for her murder.

30-year-old Dennis Akpomedaye, of Newport, South Wales, stabbed Polish student Anna Jedrkowiak, 21, in an alleyway in Ealing, on May 17 last year.

Kingston Crown Court was told Ms Jedrkowiak had previously ended their relationship to move to the capital for a new life.

Wearing a balaclava and with his hood up, he waited for Ms Jedrkowiak, known as Ania, to finish her shift at a local restaurant, having stalked her his home in Wales.

He then followed her and a young man she was close to, Jack Maskell, to a deserted alley, the court previously heard.

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Akpomedaye stabbed Ms Jedrkowiak almost 40 times, including causing a wound to her neck that detectives believe was an attempt to decapitate her.

Mr Maskell, 21, who was a colleague of Ms Jedrkowiak and had been walking with her, told the court he had been left with "indescribable memories that can never been erased".

Dennis Akpomedaye
Dennis Akpomedaye. Picture: Met Police

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

Mr Maskell said witnessing the attack had left him with "significant emotional problems", such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Akpomedaye was found guilty of her murder at Kingston Crown Court last week, and on Wednesday was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years.

Sentencing at Kingston Crown Court, Judge Rajeev Shetty said the attack was “ferocious and savage”.

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“There is no mitigation here, there is no evidence of a mental disorder or disability,” he added.

Kerim Fuad KC, defending, said: "[Ms Jedrkowiak's] life was to be ended by the defendant's act borne of rejection and jealousy."

In a statement read to the court, Ms Jedrkowiak's mother, Danuta, who lives in Poland, said: "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 in which her daughter died meant her heart "broke with grief and despair".

Speaking outside court, Ms Jedrkowiak's sister, Katareyna Glowacka, 39, who lives in the UK, said Akpomedaye was a "proper coward" for not attending his sentencing.

"He committed a crime but he is not able to face us, he's not able to look us in the eyes," she said.

Ms Jedrkowiak's family called her 'a kind, gentle soul'
Ms Jedrkowiak's family called her 'a kind, gentle soul'. Picture: Met Police

Paying tribute to their daughter, Ms Jedrkowiak's family called her "a kind, gentle soul".

“She was thoughtful and loving, and everyone who met her fell in love with her. She was brilliantly gifted, especially in music and art, but also so determined and hardworking - she would have gone on to succeed in anything she did.

“She was very smart, tenacious and ambitious, but also very humble.

“She was destined for great things.”

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Howie, the senior investigating officer, said: "Anna’s life was taken by someone who is cowardly but extremely dangerous.

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“Anna was scared of him and attempted to end the relationship. When she did this, he said to her “We will be together no matter what … I will find you”.

“She had moved away to start what should have been an exciting new life in London but now will never be able to fulfil that promise, and her family will never see her again.

“It was moving that so many of her family, university and work friends attended a vigil in her honour during the trial.

“My thoughts and sympathies remain with the family and friends of Anna, both in the UK and in Poland, who will never get over the tragic circumstances surrounding her death.

Akpomedaye had left a trail of blood from the scene, which led detectives to a pond in Gunnersbury Park, where he had dumped items he had stolen from Ms Jedrkowiak.

Using CCTV footage, forensic evidence and phone analysis, Metropolitan Police officers managed to arrest him within 22 hours of the murder.

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