Man sentenced to life for murder of partner Marlene Doyle in 'vicious and savage attack'

Man sentenced to life for murder of partner Marlene Doyle in 'vicious and savage attack'

A MAN has been sentenced to life for the murder of his partner in what police described as a 'vicious and savage attack'.

Patryk Skupinski, 37, was handed a minimum term of 21 years at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, having been found guilty in August of the murder of mother-of-three Marlene Doyle.

The body of Ms Doyle, 32, was found with severe head injuries at the couple's flat on Shakespeare Street in Coventry on January 20, 2022, where it had lain for several days.

Patryk Skupinski must serve a minimum of 21 years (Image: West Midlands Police)

Three other people, including Skupinski's mother, were also jailed on Friday for assisting an offender after they sheltered him in the wake of the murder.

"This was a vicious and savage attack in a place, and with someone, Ms Doyle should have felt the safest," said Detective Sergeant Andy Wareham from West Midlands Police.

Meanwhile, Ms Doyle's mother now hopes her daughter's story will encourage other people in abusive relationships to seek help.

Killer hidden

Police attended the Shakespeare Street property on January 20, 2022 after a relative of Ms Doyle's had been unable to contact her for a number of days.

At the flat, they discovered her body, with subsequent enquiries establishing that she had most likely died up to five days earlier.

Skupinski had also disappeared and was identified as the prime suspect in the murder.

He was later traced to his mother's address in Coventry and arrested.

Through CCTV and phone records, detectives established Skupinski had been in contact with two friends on the evening of January 15.

Michael Lada and Kinga Rybacka let Skupinski stay with them despite knowing he had murdered Ms Doyle (Images: West Midlands Police)

Michal Lada, 40, and Kinga Rybacka, 27, went to the flat in the early hours of January 16 and then allowed Skupinski to stay with them and hide away for three days.

This was despite clearly knowing Skupinski had killed Ms Doyle.

The killer had also been in contact with his mother Hanna Skupinski, 59, shortly after the murder.

She had made enquiries around helping her son leave the country and then kept him hidden at her home for two days.

When officers attended her home to speak to him, she initially refused to open the door.

At Coventry Crown Court on Friday, Hanna Skupinski, of Bell Green Road, Coventry, was jailed for 15 months for assisting an offender.

Lada and Rybacka, both of Blythe Road, Coventry, were also convicted of assisting an offender and jailed for 42 months and 15 months respectively.


During the investigation, detectives established that Ms Doyle had been subjected to domestic violence over a period of time before her death.

Ms Burke's mother Gloria said her daughter had 'paid with her life' by not seeking help earlier and hopes it will serve as a warning to others.

"Marlene's life was taken by a partner with whom she shared a loving relationship with, but ultimately became toxic due to domestic violence issues including verbal and physical abuse towards her," she said.

Ms Doyle had been in an abusive relationship with Skupinski (Image: West Midland Police)

"Marlene's story should act as a warning to all women and men who find themselves within such relationships, and who choose to remain and keep quiet in the hope that the situation will improve.

"Marlene paid with her life for not acting sooner, killed at the hands of a wicked man whom she loved and trusted.

"Marlene will be forever missed by her three young sons and her ever loving family."

'Volatile' relationship

Speaking in the wake of the trial, DS Wareham welcomed the sentences handed to Skupinski as well as those who helped him.

"It's unclear what Skupinski used to attack Ms Doyle with but he left her with significant head injuries," he said.

"It quickly became clear her relationship with Skupinski was volatile and he was immediately our prime suspect.

"He will quite rightly spend many, many years behind bars.

Hanna Skupinski had hidden her son and had made enquiries about helping him flee the country (Image: West Midlands Police)

"Sadly, there were others who were willing to try and help him stay hidden.

"They were fully aware Ms Doyle was lying dead in the flat but were content to cover for a killer and not say anything.

"There can never be a sense of loyalty when someone has committed the most gruesome act of murder and they are now also rightly convicted criminals.

"We can only hope these convictions, and knowing people have been brought to justice, will ease some of the pain for Ms Doyle's loved ones."