Suleman Altaf will spend at least 30 years in jail
A man who stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death as the teenager desperately tried to protect his mother from a frenzied knife attack has been jailed for a minimum of 30 years.
Suleman Altaf of The Frithe in Slough, Berkshire fled the scene after the horrific crime, fleeing to the South Coast and trying to escape by sailing across the English Channel to the continent.
The 45-year-old was handed a mandatory life sentence yesterday, with with a minimum tariff of three decades he is eligible for parole, having been convicted of the murder of Jakub Szymanski.
The Court heard how, on the 9 June 2022, Altaf went to the home of his estranged ex-partner, Katarzyna Bastek, on Bednal Avenue in Miles Platting, Manchester.
CCTV cameras showed him walking around the area for more than three hours prior to his arrival, wearing a baseball cap, surgical mask and latex gloves.
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Jakub Szymanski died as he tried to protect his mum, Katarzyna Bastek,
After letting himself into the property, Altaf launched a frenzied knife attack on Katarzyna, with Jakub trying to stop him. Altaf stabbed him as well, and the teenager received a knife wound to the neck which proved to be fatal.
After spending just two minutes in the property, Altaf then fled, taking a taxi to his home address in Slough, where he collected his belongings and then drove to the South Coast.
Here he tried to sail across the Channel in a dinghy before being intercepted by a lifeboat crew on 10 June 2022, roughly four miles out at sea. At this point he said it was his intention to sail to France before continuing his journey to Portugal.
After nearly an hour of negotiation Altaf agreed to abandon his plans and accompanied the crew back to Dungeness, Kent, where he was arrested by police and transferred back to Manchester.
Speaking after the sentencing, Katarzyna Bardek said her son was a ‘special hero’
On interview, Altaf admitted being at the home address of Ms Bastek the night before, as a final effort to re-establish contact with his son (not Jakub), having had not seen in more than seven years.
The court was also told how, on that night, Ms Bastek was in her lounge on the phone talking to her friend when she saw a shadow in her hallway which startled her. On getting up to see who it was, she was confronted by Altaf, who was armed with a knife. She immediately feared for her life and begged him to leave.
Altaf proceeded to attack Ms Bastek, who, despite sustaining serious injuries, shouted to her friend who was still on the phone, to call the police.
She also called for help from her son Jakub, who was upstairs but who came to her aid. Altaf turned his violent intent towards him, before resuming the attack on Ms Bastek.
Still shouting for him to leave, Altaf said “I can leave you now” before he calmly left the property at which point, Ms Bastek realised her son had been gravely injured. Emergency services quickly attended the scene but sadly he was pronounced dead in hospital at about 10.30pm.
Ms Bastek herself had been subject to multiple serious injuries, including nine stab injuries, various facial fractures, chest injuries, a collapsed lung, along with nerve and vascular injuries. She was operated on the same evening.
On sentencing Senior Investigating Officer, Philip Reade, said: “This was an extremely vicious, frenzied and targeted attack that will live with this family for the rest of their lives. Jakub was at the heart of the family.
“He was much loved and was savagely murdered whilst trying to defend his mum from certain death at the hands of Altaf.
“I would like to commend the dignity and courage of Katarzyna and her family throughout this horrendous ordeal. I know that today’s sentencing will not bring Jakub back to his family, but we are hoping that it will now give the family the opportunity to begin their healing process and allow them to grieve their devastating loss in peace.”
Paying tribute to her brave son, Katarzyna said: “Our loving son and brother will be so greatly missed. He was a friend to many. Kuba had a special smile and a special face. That day he was our special hero. Kuba, we can’t and will never replace you.
“You gave your love that day, your whole life through. God bless you Jakub, we love you.
“We would now ask for privacy as we grieve our Kuba and try to come to terms with what’s happened.”