Man denies murder of his wife in Norfolk village

Flowers laid at a home in Shipdham where a woman in her 30s was found dead.

Rafal Winiarski, 40, of Lake Close, Shipdham, has denied murdering Malgorzata Lechanska - Credit: Sarah Brown

A man accused of the murder of his wife in her own home is to stand trial this summer.

Rafal Winiarski, 40, has been charged with murder of Malgorzata Lechanska, 37, whose body was found at their home in Lake Close, Shipdham, on Sunday, August 1 last year.

The defendant appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday (May 5) for a plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH) when he denied murder.

Picture of Malgorzata Lechanska whose body was found at her home in Lake Close, Shipdham on August 1. 

Malgorzata Lechanska, whose body was found at her home in Lake Close, Shipdham on August 1, 2021 - Credit: Facebook

Winiarski, of Lake Close, Shipdham will stand trial on July 25 this year.

Judge Alice Robinson fixed a pre-trial review in the case for July 4.

Peter Gair appeared at the hearing for the prosecution and Lori Tucker appeared on behalf of Winiarski.

As previously reported, emergency services had been called to the scene at around 1.21pm on August 1 last year following concerns for the safety of Ms Lechanska. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

Forensic services on scene in Lake Close, Shipdham, after the body of Malgorzata Lechanska was discovered on Sunday.

Forensic services in Lake Close, Shipdham, after the body of Malgorzata Lechanska was discovered - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

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A post-mortem examination revealed she died as a result of a severe head injury.

The mother-of-two had worked at Center Parcs near Thetford for the past three years and was described as a "popular" member of staff who would be "sorely missed".

A spokesman said at the time: "Our thoughts are with Malgorzata’s family, friends and colleagues at this terrible time. 

"Malgorzata was a highly regarded and popular member of the Housekeeping team at Center Parcs Elveden Forest, and she will be truly missed.

Neighbours of Ms Lechanska also described their shock at the death of the "caring" and "quiet" woman who loved her garden and who planted fruit plants for other children in the community to enjoy.

They were planning on getting a memorial bench installed near where she lived so her daughters - aged seven and 16 - can go and remember her.

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Pol

Rafal Winiarski, 40, of Lake Close, Shipdham, has denied murdering Malgorzata Lechanska - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

But it is not only those who knew the victim who were affected by the death.

Adrian Zolkowski-O'Dell, chairman of the Norfolk Polish Heritage Group, did not know Ms Lechanska personally, but described her death as a "tragedy".

He said: "Thousands of Poles have moved to Norfolk since World War Two.

"They've been valuable members of the community, often well liked and loved and it's a tragedy to hear of such an event."