Two held over death of man crushed in bin lorry
Henryk Piotrowski’s body was found on August 23rd after a refuse bin in which he was sleeping was picked up by a truck
Images of Henryk Piotrowski, a Polish national aged 43 whose body was discovered in a collection truck at a waste recycling facility last month.
Gardaí investigating the death of a homeless Polish man, who was crushed in a refuse collection lorry after climbing into a large bin of rubbish to sleep, have arrested two people.
The suspects are being held in Garda stations in Dublin after their arrests in the city early this morning.
Henryk Piotrowski (43) had been sleeping rough in different locations in the city centre in recent years. On the night of August 22nd and into the morning of the 23rd he climbed into an industrial-sized bin in the Dame St or Temple Bar area of the south inner city.
Gardaí believe he most likely got into the bin to sleep. It was collected by a refuse truck, owned by the Panda, on the morning of August 23rd.
The contents of the bin, with Mr Piotrowski inside, were tipped into the back of the truck and his body was crushed in the mechanical jaws that compact refuse in such trucks.
The crew manning it were unaware that he was inside and his body was only discovered when the contents of the vehicle were emptied at Panda’s depot on the Ballymount Road in Dublin 24.
The truck had collected the contents of 55 bins, 30 of which were the larger 1,100-litre bins, in Dublin City centre.
A post mortem on Mr Piotrowski’s remains concluded he was alive when he was accidentally tipped into the back of the truck and that he died due to being crushed.
However, the post mortem also revealed he had injuries – mainly cuts and bruises – before he was tipped into the lorry.
The post mortem found the injuries were consistent with an assault before he died and which did not cause his death.
While the investigation into his death is not a murder case, gardaí are investigating the assault on him and are trying to determine the timeframe between his assault and entering the bin.
A large volume of CCTV footage from the streets around Dame St and Temple Bar has been studied and has aided the inquiry.
Gardaí believe the dead man was beaten on the streets by other homeless Polish people .
The people arrested this morning, a man and a woman, are both Polish and homeless and are being questioned on suspicion of assault.
The man, who is in his 40s and woman in her 30s, were arrested in the Dublin city centre at about 8am. They are being held at Crumlin Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.
Mr Piotrowski had been in Ireland for a number of years and while he previously had an address in Clondalkin, west Dublin, he had been sleeping on the streets of the capital in recent years and at times was sleeping in hostels.
While he was successful in gaining access to hostels to stay there from time to time, because he was a foreign national he was not entitled to a long-term place in a hostel in the same way Irish homeless people are.
He first came to the Garda’s attention as far back as 2009 when he was jailed for seven days for the theft of wine.
In the week before his death he was given a suspended sentence of three months in a Dublin court after appearing there on August 16th.
The sentence related to three offences, all of which involved the theft of wine.
In June, he stole two bottles of wine valued at €30 from a shop on Merrion Row in the south inner city. In the following weeks he stole a bottle of fortified wine from the Moore St area valued at €4.49 before later stealing two bottles of wine in Howth in east Dublin valued at €20.
Garda sources have said he was increasingly coming to their attention in the last year of his life as his lifestyle became more chaotic and he began drinking more heavily and stole more wine .
He had a total of 60 cases that had been taken against him, most of which related to theft of alcohol and the frequency of which intensified in the last 12 months of his life.