Murdered Harlesden worker may have been alive when put in suitcase

Victim: Marta Ligman (Pic credit: Facebook)

Victim: Marta Ligman (Pic credit: Facebook) - Credit: Archant

A Harlesden woman may have still been alive when bundled into a suitcase and left to drown in a Little Venice canal, a court heard.

Tomasz Kocik, 38, allegedly killed 23 year-old deli worker Marta Ligman at the home they shared in Buckingham Road before dumping her in the Grand Union Canal in May.

On May 1 Kocik was caught on CCTV dragging a large suitcase through the streets to the canal towpath near Old Oak Lane, a jury at The Old Bailey heard.

The case was recovered from the canal 10 days later near Little Venice where Ms Ligman’s body was discovered, the court heard.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray said: “If the initial attack had not killed her outright the fact that she was then zipped into a suitcase and left inside would also have proved fatal because of the effects of being left in such a confined space.

He added: “Kocik attacked Marta, put her in a suitcase and when she was dead or dying he put that case in the canal.”

He was seen on CCTV at 6.15 am pulling the suitcase through the streets of London half a mile to the canal before returning home empty handed with wet trouser legs more than an hour later said Mr Cray.

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“These are the acts of a man intent on covering up a dreadful crime,” he added.

“Treating her body as something to be hidden is at the heart of his guilty actions. Why did he need to get rid of Marta’s body in the deliberate way he did?

“The answer to that question is not complicated, he did it to try and cover up the fact that he had killed her.”

Mr Cray went on: “When questioned by the police following his arrest he said that he had not killed Marta and he had no knowledge as to how she had died.

“His story to the police was that she had walked out on him, left with a few belongings and off she walked. The evidence will prove that his defence is a lie and he is guilty of murder.”

Ms Ligman, a Polish national, worked at the Delicja Polish Delicatessen in High Street, Harlesden.

The court heard that Kocik was said by Ms Ligman’s work colleagues to be “an obsessively jealous and controlling boyfriend” and that she had suffered a black eye and bruising in the past..

On the day she died a member of the public found her Polish identity card and part of her bank card on Acton Lane where Kocik had been seen on CCTV on his way home from the canal.

Kocik has pleaded not guilty to murder. The case continues.