Three members of gang who killed Doncaster dad had past convictions for violence in Poland

Jaroslaw Owczarczyk
Jaroslaw Owczarczyk
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Three members of a gang who killed a Doncaster dad were allowed to enter the UK despite having past convictions for violence in their native Poland.

Mateusz Halabura, Jaroslaw Owczarczyk and Rafal Palinski were among five men jailed for a combined 49 years this week for the manslaughter of Adam Szurgocinski.

Mateusz Halabura

Mateusz Halabura

It was revealed at their sentencing at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday that the men had all served time in jail in Poland, with several convictions each to their names.

Another member of the group of the gang, Sebastian Gurski, had been in the country for just six weeks before being involved in the killing of Mr Szurgocinski.

The men will be considered for deportation at the end of their prison sentences, in line with any EU national living in the UK who has been jailed for two years or more.

Those entering the country are checked against a range of police, security and immigration databases for details of any UK or known overseas criminal record.

Rafal Palinski

Rafal Palinski

But as Poland is part of the European Union, the UK Border Force will only stop people entering the country who are considered a ‘genuine threat to society’.

The Home Office said today it does not comment on individual cases.

The court heard Halabura had convictions for offences of violence, including one described as causing ‘grievous bodily injury’.

Owczarczyk had convictions for minor violence, dishonesty and possession of drugs, while Palinski had convictions for dishonesty and violence.

Justice Stephen Males took the previous convictions into account while sentencing the men for Mr Szurgocinski, but said he had ‘little information’ about precisely what they had done in the past.

Mr Szurgocinski was killed after being punched and kicked by the gang who wrongly believed he had stolen money and drugs from one of them. One of the blows to his head proved fatal - but the gang waited almost 30 minutes to call the police as they concocted a story to tell the police that his death had been caused by unknown intruders.