Court seeks to send man accused of murdering wife to mental hospital

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

Flowers laid at a home in Shipdham where a woman in her 30s was found dead. - Credit: Sarah Brown

A man accused of murdering his wife could be sent to a mental hospital after refusing to undergo psychiatric tests ahead of his trial. 

Rafal Winiarski, 40, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Malgorzata Lechanska, 37, whose body was found at their home in Lake Close, Shipdham, on August 1 last year.

Emergency services had been called following concerns for the safety of Ms Lechanska.

She was pronounced dead a short time later. An axe was found near her body.

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

At a hearing at Norwich Crown Court on Friday (July 29), Lori Tucker, defending, said he had refused to take part in assessments and that a psychiatrist had now recommended he be transferred from prison to hospital. 

Addressing the court through a Polish interpreter Winiarski said he also wanted to sack his defence counsel. 

Adjourning the case until September 8, Judge Alice Robinson told him permission would be sought to transfer him to allow a better assessment of whether his mental ill health would allow a defence of diminished responsibility.