A British man was sentenced Tuesday to 26 years in prison for murder after he was caught on a body camera video stumbling back to the scene of the fatal stabbing, and telling a police officer, “I know what happened.”
Marek Hecko, 26, from Chelmsford, Essex, has been found guilty of murder for knifing to death his romantic rival, 44-year-old Adrian Ellingford, who was in bed with the defendant’s ex-girlfriend.
Ellingford, a married father-of-two, was stabbed twice in the back at a home in Nelson Grove on July 25, 2022.
Just a few hours later, a body camera worn by a police officer guarding the crime scene recorded a visibly inebriated Hecko coming over while taking swigs from a half-empty bottle of brandy.
In the video, the officer asks Hecko to state his name, which he refuses to do.
“I know what happened,” he brags. “And you need me to figure it out, what happened. If you don’t have me, you don’t know what happened.”
When the officer asks him to elaborate, Hecko replies: “I just know that some guy came here and he f—ed up some guy.”
The cop presses him further, and Hecko continues to insist that he knows what had happened, before slurring: “you’re gonna think about me but it’s not gonna be me because there’s no proof.”
He then declares: “I know everything. This city is mine.”
The recording ends with Hecko’s arrest as uniformed officers struggle to bundle the muscle-bound suspect into a police van.
While Hecko was in custody, he was identified as the main suspect in Ellingford’s killing.
Prosecutors said that Hecko had been in a relationship with Stephanie Breame for seven months before they broke up in May because she did not approve of his drug use, but the man continued to be “obsessed” with her, according to coverage by Essexlive.com.
Breame later began dating Ellingford, who was married with two sons, ages 10 and 12.
On the night of the murder, Ellingford was staying at Breame’s home when he woke up in bed, saying there was someone in the house, reported BBC News.
A short time later, the man collapsed to the bedroom floor with a knife lodged in his back. He was pronounced dead at the scene from two stab wounds.
Prosecutors told Chelmsford Crown Court how Hecko broke into Breame’s home while she was in bed with Ellington.
The intruder took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed Ellingford with such force that blade struck a bone in the victim’s chest and the handle broke off.
According to prosecutors, in the leadup to the killing, the jilted boyfriend had been stalking his ex-girlfriend by showing up at her work and home uninvited, and sending her messages and videos.
Judge Christopher Morgan said Hecko was “jealous of her and suspicious of her.”
At Hecko’s sentencing, Ellingsford’s widow, Laura, delivered a lengthy impact victim statement, describing her late husband of 17 years as a “truly brilliant father” whose death has devastating the family.
“He was brutally ripped from our lives in events that I still can’t really comprehend myself or begin to explain to our boys,” the woman said. “The impact of his death has affected many people in very different ways. It is totally heartbreaking.”
It took a jury less than a day to deliver the guilty verdict.
Hecko, who reportedly appeared emotionless in court, was sentenced to a minimum of 26 years in prison, with a credit for 230 days served.