Football fan “killed friend in show of strength”, court hears

19:31 10 December 2012

A football fan killed his best friend after they got into an alcohol-fuelled fight about this year’s Champions League final, a court heard today.

Polish hospital workers Daniel Janik, 30, and Przemyslaw Lepkowski, 24, drank whisky as they watched Chelsea play Bayern Munich on television - with each of them supporting opposing teams.

Miss Sarah Plaschkes QC, prosecuting, described the death of Mr Lepkowski as “tragic, futile and drunken”.

She told the Old Bailey Mr Lepkowski had 41 injuries and he died of strangulation.

Mr Lepkowski visited Janik at his house on Eastbourne Road, Tooting, on May 20 to watch the football match, and brought a bottle of whisky with him.

The two men drank alcohol throughout the game and then asked Janik’s housemate to go to the shop and get them a second bottle.

Miss Plaschkes told jurors: “The series of events is a little unclear because of the consumption of alcohol.”

She said that what followed was “possibly a show of strength between the two men to see who was stronger”.

Miss Plaschkes said Janik told police he “squeezed too much, too hard”.

A friend said the two men were drunk and were “arguing between themselves over who should have won”.

He said “there was pushing and shoving” and added that it was all “because of the match”.

Mr Lepkowski, who worked as a cleaner at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, where Janik was a porter, died two days later in the hospital.

At a police station, Janik was alleged to have said: “It was an accident. If my friend was not in hospital I would be.”

He also said: “He was my friend and I never wanted to hurt him.”

Janik, now of Hopton Road, Streatham, denies both the murder and manslaughter of Mr Lepkowski.

The trial was adjourned to tomorrow.

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