An immigrant who killed a disabled pensioner during a bungled burglary was allowed to enter Britain despite being on the run from a jail in Poland, it emerged yesterday (Thurs).
Polish national Ireneusz Melaniuk, 28, beat jeweller Peter Avis, 66, around the face with an ashtray after breaking into his home.
Peter, who used a walking stick after suffering a brain aneurism, was then stabbed thirteen times.
Melaniuk later admitted murdering the frail OAP and is still waiting to be sentenced for the brutal killing.
But it has now emerged that tattooed killer Melaniuk was allowed into Britain unchallenged three years ago despite being an escaped fugitive in Poland.
Melaniuk, who was serving time for robbery, failed to return to his prison in Biala Podlaska, 100 miles east of Warsaw, following a day release.
He fled to Britain in 2009 but was not added to any European ‘watch lists’ set-up to prevent dangerous criminals slipping between EU countries.
It is understood Melaniuk – who uses various aliases – entered Britain using a fake ID and spent two years living nomadically before killing Peter in January.
Politician’s slammed the security measures at Britain’s borders as a farce – after the UK Border Agency admitted it had no idea Melaniuk was a wanted man.
David Ruffley, MP Bury St Edmunds, said: “The first question we should ask is how did an escaped criminal on the run from Poland not get picked up at the UK border?
“Either he had false documents that were not detected or he may have been smuggled in.
“This reminds us of the need to tighten our borders so that heinous crimes like this don’t happen on our doorsteps.”
Earlier this year Ipswich Crown Court heard Melaniuk and his co-defendant Aleksandra Karpiuk, 27, targeted Mr Avis’ Collis & Son jewellery shop, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on January 13 this year.
They broke into Peter’s home upstairs and beat him with his glass ash tray before stabbing him to death.
Melaniuk was driven to Stansted Airport by his accomplice before jetting back to Poland where he was captured on February 16.
He was extradited back to England in early July and in August pleaded guilty to murder.
Under immigration rules EU citizens can freely live and work in Britain, but can face deportation if they are found to not be living self-sufficiently after three months.
UK border officers confirmed they had no contact with Melaniuk once he passed through immigration control.
Incredibly, an immigration spokesman said it was Poland’s responsibility to ensure Britain is told when potential killers entering could be entering their country.
Vicky Ford, MEP for the East of England said she and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer have already been campaigning to tighten up controls between European Union countries over the cross-border tracking of criminals.
Mrs Ford said: “We need to have the basic protections regarding a handful of dangerous criminals. Does that mean demanding the sharing of information by countries? That’s the question we are asking.
“If you have relatively open borders, then you need to have the ability to protect yourself from very dangerous people if they are moving across borders, which means sharing information.
“It seems to me that if there was some sort of obligation to share that information it could have stopped this situation.
“We should be asking why isn’t there an obligation to share this sort of information across the 27 countries of the European Union.”
Following his guilty plea the court heard Mr Avis had lived on his own in the flat above his shop since the death of his mother in 1989.
Melaniuk, whose real name is believed to be Irenuesz Marciewicz, is believed to have turned on Mr Avis when he confronted them during the break-in.
When he was tracked down by police in Poland officers found a samurai sword on him but the weapon used to kill Mr Avis has never been found.
Melaniuk pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Avis and one count of burglary at Ipswich Crown Court on August 13 and is now waiting to be sentenced with his co defendants.
Pawel Borowiecki, 31, of Roslyn Road, London, and Aleksandra Karpiuk, 27, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, denied conspiracy to commit burglary.
But they were convicted by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court and will be sentenced at a later date. Karpiuk was also found guilty of assisting an offender.
Two other men who appeared in court earlier this year and admitted offences relating to the raid.
Kamil Kita, 21, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to burglary and Pawel Pacian, 34, from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
Police have said Melaniuk has also used the names Piotr Melaniuk, Piotr Kelaniuil(double corr) Irek Marciewicz(double corr) and Kamil Wislak(double corr).
A spokesman for the Polish Embassy in London said: “He [Melaniuk] was in prison where he was serving a sentence for robbery in Clem [close to the Ukraine border.]
“Apparently he was given leave and did not return from that leave. During that time he escaped to Britain.”
A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said: “Where foreign law enforcement agencies inform us of individuals who may pose a risk to the public travelling to the UK, authorities are able to take action.
“Passengers travelling to the UK are checked against a range of watch-lists.
“The onus for flagging someone’s criminal history lies with the police in their home country – we would then use this information to decide whether they should be allowed into the UK.”