Gardaí believe violence in Cork murder could suggest personal motive

Officers puzzled that assailants did not use loaded gun in attack on Mikolaj Wilk

Mikolaj Wilk who was killed by a gang who broke into his home, and his wife Elzbieta who was injured in the attack. Photograph: Provision

Mikolaj Wilk who was killed by a gang who broke into his home, and his wife Elzbieta who was injured in the attack. Photograph: Provision

 

Gardai investigating the murder of a Polish father of two in Co Cork at the weekend are examining mobile phones and computers belonging to the man in the hope that it may provide clues as to the motive for the killing.

Officers investigating the murder of Mikolaj Wilk (35) by a masked gang armed with machetes who broke into his home at Bridge House, Maglin near Ballincollig early on Sunday morning have taken begun examining the electronic equipment to see who was in contact with him in recent weeks.

Garda sources acknowledge the level of violence was exceptional and could be suggestive of a more personal motive, though this is just one possibility they are examining.

Mr Wilk had not come to Garda attention since he settled in Ireland 12 years ago and inquiries with their Polish counterparts has found nothing to suggest that he was involved in any criminal activity back in his home near Poznan.

A German Shepherd belonging to Mr Wilk and his wife Elzbieta was locked up in a shed and run and was not able to come to their owner’s assistance when the gang arrived at the isolated house at around 3am on Sunday morning.

Detectives have spoken to Ms Wilk at Cork University Hospital where she remains after undergoing surgery on her hand. She suffered severe cut wounds while trying to protect her husband from the machete-wielding gang.

Officers hope to speak to Ms Wilk again over the coming days to see if she can assist them further with descriptions of the gang whom she said spoke fluent English during the assault.

Gardaí are continuing to gather CCTV footage from filling stations around Cork in the hope of finding footage of the BMW 3 series car, believed to be the getaway vehicle, found burnt out six kilometres away at Waterfall.

The car was found burning at around 4.20am and although units of Cork City Fire Brigade managed to extinguish the blaze, it was completely gutted, making the chances of garda technical experts finding any clues of value extremely difficult.

Garda technical experts are continuing to examine a revolver found with five bullets in the chamber and two machetes which were all recovered from the burnt out vehicle in the hope they may provide some clues as to the identity of Mr Wilk’s killers.

“At the moment we are still trying to establish a motive and without that, it’s very difficult to move in any direction with any certainty,” said one garda source who admitted they were puzzled why the gang would have a loaded gun and not to use it to shoot Mr Wilk if they intended killing him.

Meanwhile a garda appeal in Polish to the public for any information using Polish officers serving in Cork stations has had over 220,000 hits on Facebook with many of the hits coming from people living in Poland shocked at the level of violence used to kill their compatriot.