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Buried alive: Michelina Lewandowska, 27, leaving court today after giving evidence against her boyfriend who is accused of burying her alive in Huddersfield. This is the woman who claims her boyfriend buried her alive…but saved herself by cutting her way out of a cardboard ‘coffin’ using her engagement ring.
Michelina Lewandowska, 27, yesterday gave further details of her terrifying ordeal in a wood, bound and gagged and encased in a box beneath soil and a heavy branch. She said she managed to remove parcel tape covering her mouth but was worried the oxygen would run out before she could free herself. She said: ‘It was not easy. I tried to breathe the rest of the oxygen which was left inside the box.’
She sliced through the tape binding her ankles using the ring her alleged attacker had given her, tore at a small hole in the box and finally dug her way to freedom. She had earlier been shot twice with a 300,000 volt Taser gun by the boyfriend, Marcin Kasprzak, 25, and tied up in her home, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Kasprzak wanted to ‘get rid of her’ so he could look after their three-year-old son Jakub himself, it was claimed. Julian Goose QC, defending Kasprzak, said he simply wanted to ‘frighten’ her. However, Miss Lewandowska insisted she was the victim of a murder plot. She said the two air holes that enabled her to survive were not left unblocked on purpose, but because Kasprzak was taping the box with her inside in ‘a rush’.
After being carried to the wood by Kasprzak and his friend Patryk Borys, 18, she lay in silence until she was sure they had gone. She then tore at the box until she had managed to get her head through the soil and into the open air. When no one answered her cries for help she renewed her efforts to wriggle free. ‘I was very knackered. I had problems tearing the box apart. I was trying to tear the box apart using my shoulders,’ she said.
Eventually she succeeded and flagged down a passing motorist.
‘Shallow grave’: The spot where the Polish mother was dumped by her boyfriend in a wood in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire Cross-examining Miss Lewandowska, Mr Goose said: ‘We accept what happened to you that day, that night, was very frightening. You were made to feel very scared and we don’t dispute that a Taser was used on you, that your wrists and your ankles were taped and, at times, there was tape to your mouth.
‘We don’t dispute either that you were put into that box and that you were taken to that scene. ‘Let me be clear.
‘Makeshift coffin’: The box Michelina Lewandowska was buried alive inside before soil and a heavy box was piled on top to stop her escaping
Escape: The mother, 27, used the jewel on her engagement ring, pictured, to escape from the ‘grave’
Accused: Patryk Borys denies attempting to kill the mother
‘We say that the intention was to scare you – to frighten you off, leaving Jakub behind. And it was not with the intention to kill you.’
Miss Lewandowska told the court how the Taser attack left her with a red mark on her neck and for two weeks after the incident ‘I couldn’t normally breathe, I couldn’t normally move, I couldn’t sleep.’
She told the jury how she tried to tear the box apart using her shoulders as she tried to breathe the oxygen left inside the box.
‘At first I only took out my hand, being afraid that Marcin could hit me with the spade,’ she said. ‘Then I took out my whole arm to the elbow. I started to feel about – to feel what was on the box.’
David Hatton QC, for Borys, asked Miss Lewandowska about his client’s involvement in the incident on May 28.
She said: ‘I’m not blaming Patryk for anything that happened. I think he was deceived in the same way that I was.
‘He was not fully aware of the things Marcin was going to do.’
Prosecutors have told the court that Miss Lewandowska was attacked by Kasprzak because their relationship had come to an end and he wanted their three-year-old son, Jakub. After escaping the woods she managed to flag down a passing motorist. Miss Lewandowska, who is Polish and spoke through an interpreter, described how she managed to pull the box apart and get out.
Prosecutors have told the jury: ‘In a nutshell, this case is about a young man who got bored with his partner, the mother of his child, and he decided to get rid of her.’
Kasprzak and Borys – both Poles who moved to England to work – deny attempted murder.
The trial continues.