Mum of two killed as her devastated husband listened helplessly on the phone

A mother of two was stabbed to death as her desperate husband listened over the phone. Nicola Cross, 37, was killed by Marcin Porczynski, who was a complete stranger to her, when he broke into her home in Hertfordshire in an attempt to kidnap her children.

She was trying to protect her two little ones as Porczynski smashed his way into their house as her children slept. Mrs Cross rang her husband Daniel in terror but he could only listen helplessly as she pleaded with schizophrenic Porczynski to spare her and the children before he heard a loud scream, and then silence. The tragic mum was knifed 10 times.

Porczynski told detectives that he had heard voices which told him he must “free” children, or harm would come to his own family. Officers arrived before he left the house with the youngsters, but they could not get their quickly enough to save their mum.


At a trial at St Albans Crown Court, he pleaded not guilty to murder, but did admit manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, which the prosecution was prepared to accept.

He was seen crying in the dock as a victim impact statement was read out from heartbroken Mr Cross, who said he could now see no future happiness in his life. Mr Cross was supported in court by 13 family members and friends, who wept as details of the killing were revealed.

Before killing Mrs Cross, the 24 year old had knocked on a number of doors in the area, asking if there were any children in the homes. Mrs Cross had called police officers panicked because the mentally unstable man was looking through the windows of her house. However, after officers spoke to him, he was allowed to go back to his home nearby, only to return half an hour later with a knife.