Damien Lenihan – 37 of no fixed address admitted to the manslaughter of 48-year-old Marek Smalec at a hearing at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday, 4 November. The judge sentenced Lenihan to a total of six years’ imprisonment.
Lenihan and Marek were staying at an address in Hillingdon Hill, UB10 when the incident that led to Marek’s death occurred.
Marek’s body was found deceased in his bedroom on the morning of 5 July by another tenant at the address. A post-mortem examination revealed that he had suffered a brain injury caused by a single blow to the head. There was no evidence that a weapon had been used.
Witnesses reported that the two men had been arguing prior to Marek’s death.
Lenihan had fled the address on the morning Marek’s body was found with his bags packed. He was traced by detectives to a hotel in Telford, Shropshire and was arrested on 9 July.
An investigation found that Lenihan had tampered with security cameras at the address in Hillingdon Hill, prior to fleeing. Analysis of his mobile phone also showed he had deleted information from his device.
When interviewed by officers following his arrest, Lenihan made no comment but the weight of evidence against him led to his guilty plea to manslaughter.
Detective Chief Inspector Claire Hine who led the investigation said: “As soon as Damien Lenihan had attacked Marek, his first thoughts were for himself. He left Marek injured in his bedroom and promptly packed his bags and fled.
“While he may not have intended to kill Marek, Lenihan would have known he had injured him – however, instead of calling for help he attempted to cover his tracks; this shows the sort of person he is.
“This has been a terribly distressing time for Marek’s family but I can only hope that Lenihan’s admission to his part in Marek’s death can help them move on from this tragedy.”