A teenager has been jailed for a minimum of 16 years for murdering his 12-year-old friend after luring him to woodland and attempting to decapitate him.
The 15-year-old boy, who can now be named as Marcel Grzeszcz, repeatedly stabbed Roberts Buncis in Fishtoft, near Boston in Lincolnshire, on 12 December last year.
At the teenager’s trial at Lincoln crown court, the jury was told he stabbed Roberts “in excess of 70 times”, with a wound to the neck that was “consistent with a decapitation attempt”.
Grzeszcz admitted manslaughter midway through his trial but denied murder. The defendant claimed the victim had taken the knife to the scene and he “lost control” when the younger boy attempted to stab him, but jurors dismissed his argument and concluded he was “motivated by anger”.
Sentencing the teenager on Monday, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told him: “Marcel Grzeszcz, in the early hours of Saturday 12 December 2020, you lured Roberts Buncis to a wooded area of Boston where you carried out a savage and brutal attack upon him with a knife which you had brought to the scene, in the course of which you made a determined effort to remove his head, before leaving his body for others to find later that same morning.”
The judge said there was “a significant degree of planning and premeditation” involved in the attack, with Grzeszcz turning up with a large knife and latex gloves.
While Grzeszcz may not have initially intended to kill him, “given the number and nature of the injuries which you inflicted upon the deceased, there came a time when you did intend to kill him and proceeded to do so”, the judge said.
The judge lifted a reporting restriction barring the naming of Grzeszcz following an application by the PA Media news agency.
The trial previously heard that Grzeszcz was forced to leave St Nicholas primary after bringing a knife on to the premises and was sent to a pupil referral unit (PRU). He was later excluded from high school for selling drugs both in and out of school and had started at another PRU the day before Roberts was found dead.
Giving his ruling on the decision to lift the anonymity order, the judge said: “The balance is strongly in favour of the principle of open justice … rather than the accused’s welfare, which is of more limited significance in the context of this extremely serious case.”
In a short victim impact statement read to the court on behalf of Roberts’s father, Edgars Buncis, he said: “How do I put into words how I feel? This is all wrong. No father should ever have to bury their son. Nothing is a reason for this. I have lost my destination and my purpose. My life is in a cemetery. I feel empty and nothing will change this.”
Roberts would have turned 13 two days after he was killed.