12 years for frenzied stabbing of Heriot-Watt lecturer

Brutal: Pawel Rodak stabbed Roger Gray 114 times
Brutal: Pawel Rodak stabbed Roger Gray 114 times
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A MALE prostitute who killed a university lecturer by stabbing him 114 times before trying to blow up the victim’s flat to cover his tracks has been jailed for 12 years.

Pawel Rodak, 21, was convicted of a lesser charge of culpable homicide after standing trial for the murder of Heriot-Watt University lecturer Roger Gray.

Jailing Rodak for killing the 64-year-old in his Merchiston home in March last year, temporary judge Michael O’Grady QC called the case “tragic and difficult.”

But criminologist Dr Simon Harding, a friend of Mr Gray’s for 30 years, today condemned the decision to convict Rodak of the reduced charge on the grounds of diminished responsibility as “absolutely shocking”.

Dr Harding said that Rodak and his legal team had “blamed the victim” and shown that it was “ludicrously easy” for murder cases in Scotland to be reduced to culpable homicide.

Rodak claimed his post-traumatic stress disorder had been sparked by Mr Gray slapping him during a sex act. The accused told the court he had been raped when he was 15.

Once he had killed Mr Gray, who had invited him to his flat in Merchiston Crescent for sex, Rodak left a lit candle in the kitchen and fled.

But Rodak left behind a vital clue – his Polish bank card – which helped police snare him.

The judge said he had decided against imposing a lifelong restriction on Rodak, but he said his sentence must “afford the public protection”.

Judge O’Grady ordered Rodak to be monitored in the community for three years after his release from prison.

Mr Gray, who was a part-time lecturer in actuarial mathematics and statistics, died from massive blood loss as one of the stab wounds pierced his heart.

Dr Harding, a criminologist now based in London, was a friend of Mr Gray’s since meeting him in 1980. He said: “It’s absolutely shocking that this man could receive a sentence of culpable homicide for what was a brutal murder. He stabbed Roger 114 times. The flat was a bloodbath.

“He alleged that he had suffered sexual abuse as a young lad, something which could not be verified. He also claimed that he had been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Two psychiatrists examined him and one agreed that he was suffering from the condition. But the other psychiatrist said that there was no way that someone with the condition would work as a male prostitute and put himself in situations where he could relive the abuse. Unfortunately the court believed the first psychiatrist.

“The trial destroyed Roger’s character. His name was dragged through the mud and he was unable to defend himself. There was no justice for him.

“It seems that many people accused of murder simply blame the victim. It’s become ludicrously easy for cases to be reduced to culpable homicide.”

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Fionnbar Lenihan diagnosed Rodak as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

But another consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr John 
Crichton, who works alongside Dr Lenihan at the Orchard Clinic Medium Secure Unit in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, said in his opinion Rodak was not suffering from the condition.

Rodak advertised on a gay website and told psychiatrists who examined him that he decided to become a male prostitute because he was short of money.