Dad ‘murdered wife and daughter’ after ‘wrongly thinking he was cheated on’

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A father murdered his wife and daughter by slitting their throats in a jealous rage after wrongly believing he was being cheated on, a court heard.

Tesco worker Marcin Zdun allegedly killed 18-year-old Nikoleta and 40-year-old Aneta “in the most brutal fashion”.

The killing came just days after his wife kicked him out of their home and told him she wanted a divorce, a court heard.

Neighbours allegedly heard the sound of children “screaming in terror”.

The Polish defendant is accused of killing his wife and daughter because he was jealous and angry and because of the loss of his ‘controlling influence’ over them.

Zdun, 40, “did not like” how close his wife and daughter were and felt they were ‘pushing him out of the marriage’, it is alleged.

He even convinced himself Aneta was sleeping with his colleague, the court heard.

College student Nikoleta was said to be “terrified” of her father.

In the lead up to the alleged double murder, Zdun “strangled” his wife and Nikoleta told her mum that she was worried he would kill her, a court heard.

On June 1 – a special day called Children’s Day in the Polish calendar – Zdun walked to the family home in the cathedral city of Salisbury, Wilts, and knifed them to death.

Nikoleta and Aneta, a carer for vulnerable people, were left with “catastrophic” and unsurvivable injuries.

Zdun denies two counts of murder but admits killing the pair, claiming he has ‘no recollection’ of the incident and killed them by way of diminished responsibility as he is mentally impaired.

At Winchester Crown Court, Hants, prosecutor Nicholas Haggan QC said: “The Prosecution say that the defendant decided to kill his wife and daughter, not because of an abnormality of mental functioning that substantially impaired [him]…

“But because he was jealous and angry, not only about Aneta’s perceived affair, but also the loss [of] his controlling influence over his wife and daughter.

“He intended to kill them and that is exactly what he did – and in the most brutal fashion.

“For those reasons, we say that the defendant is guilty, not of manslaughter, but of the murders of both Aneta and Nikoleta.”

Mr Haggan QC also said: “The first day of June each year is a special date in the Polish calendar. It is known as Children’s Day.

“It is an occasion when families celebrate and it is traditional for parents to give presents to their children.

“At some point during the early afternoon of Monday, 1st June 2020, the defendant left his lodgings.. and walked the 2.6 miles or so to the family home.

“Within a matter of minutes of his arrival, various neighbours and workmen in the vicinity of the property heard children screaming.

“It was not the sound of children playing. It was the sound of children screaming in terror.

“Several people went to investigate. As they looked through a wire mesh fence into the garden, they were confronted by an horrific spectacle.

“They saw the defendant use a knife to attack Aneta and Nikoleta in a pathway running along the side of the property.

“He stabbed them and he cut their throats, using several actions to do so. The injuries that both Aneta and Nikoleta sustained were catastrophic.”

Mr Haggan QC added: “Had the paramedics arrived sooner, it would have made no difference.”

Workmen chased and detained Zdun and he was later found with a knife as well as £940, Polish currency and his passport, it is alleged.

Mr Haggan QC said Zdun was “controlling” in his marriage and took car keys from Aneta, complained about mess and money, and “felt that Aneta gave Nikoleta her own way too often”.

On April 8, Aneta was “clearly frightened” and allegedly told her mother: “You have no idea what is going on here mum… I don’t want him to kill us or the children when I’m at work… He’s a psycho… Niki is terrified of him… I fear he will do something when I’m at work.”

Mr Haggan QC said Zdun told people Aneta was having an affair with Martin Punter, who worked at Tesco with Zdun. Mr Punter never met Aneta.

Mr Haggan QC said Zdun even confronted a confused Mr Punter at work about it.

Mr Haggan QC said: “The defendant told a number of people that Aneta was having an affair… It was obvious that he was jealous and angry about that and he also believed that Aneta and Nikoleta were ganging up against him.

“There was no affair. It was a manifestation of the defendant’s jealous suspicions.

“We suggest that those jealous suspicions, coupled with the breakdown of the marriage, his eviction from the family home and the fact that his wife wanted a divorce – and, therefore, the loss of his controlling influence over Aneta and Nikoleta – so angered the defendant that at some point, either before or when he was at the house that afternoon, he decided to kill them.”

Nikoleta was a college student who was passionate about fashion and make up and dreamt of one day working abroad.

She had been studying travel and tourism.

Her friends described how she “looked like a model” because she was “very pretty” and said “she had a massive heart”.

Her mother Aneta was a physiotherapist as well as a carer at a home care service in Salisbury and treated vulnerable people.

Her devastated colleagues described her as a “warm, kind and caring individual”.

The Zdun family are thought to have lived in Salisbury for around four years, having been originally from Tarnow in Poland.

Their two young daughters are now in the care of family in Poland.

The trial, expected to last two and a half weeks, continues.

Zdun, who worked nights at Tesco in Salisbury, denies two counts of murder.