A member of the team actively hunting the suspect was called from the room and returned moments later, to inform us in a matter-of-fact but quiet voice that the investigation had become one of murder, Piotr not having survived the wounds he sustained having attempted to stop someone's house being burgled.
The man who took his life was today sentenced to lose his own, spending a minimum of the next 27 years in prison. Roger Buckingham was a drug addict and regular criminal, and claimed during his trial he was acting to feed that habit, and that he'd never meant to kill Piotr.
|Piotr's colleagues en route to memorial|
|Aschurch/Askew Rd in hours after murder|
But she also relayed how she'd once spoken to Piotr who was working hard to clear the leaves during last Autumn. She'd sympathised with how many there were, because there was just him, his spade and his barrow. He looked up - no, no, he replied - this is the best time of the year, look at how beautiful it is!
That was how Piotr saw the world, which for him involved backbreaking work for not much money. But he saw beyond that, and drew inspiration from it. And one day he saw someone else trying to do wrong and it made him angry and determined enough to do his bit to protect what he saw as being right.
How many of the residents on that street, or anywhere else, would in our heart of hearts think of ourselves as being on his level. At a guess not many. Rest in Peace Piotr, and thank you for who and what you were.