A TATTOOED Polish thug used a set of DIY power tools to build a makeshift coffin for a man he stabbed to death after a row about a paltry debt spiralled out of control.
Grzegorz Gamla knocked up the wooden box to hide the body of flatmate and pal Maciej Ciania, 34, after subjecting him to a horrific murder.
Following his sick crime, he fled to Poland and had to be brought back to Scotland to face justice. After being found guilty of his friend’s murder yesterday, he now faces life behind bars.
Mr Ciania’s sister, Aleksandra Poprawska, welcomed the jury’s decision. She said her brother considered Edinburgh his “second home” after living in the city for a decade.
She said: “Nothing will bring Maciej back but we are relieved to know that the person who committed this terrible crime will probably never hurt anyone again and no other family will suffer like we do.”
Gamla – a Polish national who has a tattoo which reads “Hardcore Forever” on his forearm – was already awaiting sentence for possession of a knife when he attacked Mr Ciania at a flat in Dickson Street, Leith, on January 13.
Gamla was convicted after a jury rejected his claim that he was acting in self-defence.
The trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard that the 26-year-old built a makeshift coffin for his victim after a row over a few pounds.
The trial heard that Mr Ciania fought for his life in the hallway as Gamla inflicted 22 stab wounds to his body and head, penetrating his lungs and severing his jugular vein. Medics found another 15 cuts on the body.
Forensic scientists found traces which suggested three knives had been used in the attack.
Gamla, giving evidence with the help of an interpreter, insisted that Mr Ciania had attacked him with a knife.
However, advocate depute John Scullion, prosecuting, condemned Gamla as “a calculating individual who will say or do anything to avoid the consequences of his actions” and described how Gamla used the power tools to make the box and hide the body.
Following the macabre DIY act he fled to Poland after other flatmates found the body. He went to Stranraer, then Belfast, before moving on to Dublin and Poland. He was arrested by Polish authorities a month later and brought back to Scotland.
Scientists found Gamla’s DNA on a mop handle and Mr Ciania’s blood on the mop, suggesting an attempt to clean up the scene. “His actions after the brutal assault show he did not act in hot blood and later regained his self control and regretted what he had done,” said Mr Scullion.