Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Killed by Her Brother in a Money Row; Killer Hanged Himself as the Net Closed In

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Killed by Her Brother in a Money Row; Killer Hanged Himself as the Net Closed In

Article excerpt

Byline: Neil McKay

AFARM worker killed his milkmaid sister because he could not repay the tens of thousands of pounds he had borrowed and then hanged himself when police were called to investigate her disappearance, separate inquests ruled yesterday. The body of 27-year-old mother-of-one Danuta Domagalska was discovered in a shallow grave at New Moor Farm, Walworth Gate, near Darlington, County Durham, a fortnight after she went missing last August.

A major police operation had been launched by then and searchers had discovered the body of her brother Piotr Lawniczak, 31, hanging from a tree in dense woodland near the estate cottage the siblings shared with her husband Marcin Domagalska.

Yesterday at Chester-le-Street Magistrates' Court, coroner Andrew Tweddle held consecutive inquests into the Polish migrant workers' deaths. They were attended by Mr Domagalska, who was aided by an interpreter.

Marcin and Danuta Domagalska had planned to have bought a house and be settled in their native country this year. They had also intended to adopt a child after saving tens of thousands of pounds by working all hours at the County Durham farm. Instead, their dream was wrecked by Mr Domalgalska's murdering brother-in-law.

The inquest heard how Piotr Lawniczak, 31, strangled his sister and tried to cover up his crime by sending her husband texts from her mobile phone before sneaking off to nearby woods to kill himself when the net began to close.

Police were alerted by Sue Archer, owner of New Moor Farm, in August last year after hard-working milk maid Danuta had not been at work for a week.

Det Supt Adrian Green, who headed the inquiry, told yesterday's hearing how Lawniczak, who also worked at the farm and shared a rented cottage with Mr and Mrs Domagalska, had borrowed "significant" amounts of money from his sister but had been unable to pay it back. …

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