Family and friends of Exeter rapist Jakub Tomczak speak out on fifth anniversary of conviction
THE family and friends of an Exeter rapist have insisted their campaign to see him freed will continue.
It is five years since Jakub Tomczak was convicted of carrying out a horrifying attack on a woman in Redlands Close, Whipton.
He was originally given a double life sentence at Exeter Crown Court with an 18-year tariff for rape and grievous bodily harm, meaning he should serve at least nine years before being considered for release – which would be in February 2016. He was then extradited to serve the sentence in Poland in accordance with the terms of a European arrest warrant.
There is no equivalent life sentence for rape in Poland and the court verdict had to be adapted to the legal system in the defendant's homeland. But it meant he will still only be eligible for parole after nine years – the same as if he were serving his sentence in England.
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His mother, Lidia, has spoken to newspapers in Poland about their continuing efforts to see him freed early.
"We believe we have evidence in our hands that Jakub was wrongly convicted," she is quoted as saying, "In my opinion, there has been a mistake. We believe some of the evidence has no credibility."
Tomczak carried out the attack in July 2006, and was arrested in early 2007. The attack left his 48-year-old victim – whose identity the Echo has continued to protect – wheelchair-bound until her death in April 2010.
Marius Paplaczyk, a lawyer representing Tomczak, has continued to question the DNA evidence which was used in the case, accusing the police of "sloppiness" but admitted they have so far failed to convince to polish courts to support an appeal.
He is reported to have said: "For sure, we will continue to try to get him released before 2016. We are sure we have grounds."
It is understood that a new case is being prepared along the same lines as previous appeals, with regard to significant legal differences in the sentences in the UK and Poland, as well as claims over the way DNA evidence was handled.
As the Echo has reported, bids to secure a presidential pardon in Poland have also ended in failure.
It is also understood that Tomczak was recently allowed to get married at the prison where he is being held in Poznan.