Male prostitute jailed for 12 years for killing of Heriot-Watt lecturer

Pawel Rodak.
Pawel Rodak.
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A MALE prostitute who killed a university lecturer by stabbing him 114 times before trying to ignite an explosion to cover his tracks has been jailed for 12 years.

Pawel Rodak, 21, snapped when having consensual sex with 64-year-old Roger Gray at the Heriot-Watt lecturer’s home in the affluent Merchiston area of Edinburgh in March last year.

Jailing Rodak yesterday, temporary judge Michael O’Grady, QC, called the case “tragic and difficult”.

Judge O’Grady added: “Whatever the behaviour of the deceased this evening, he can in no sense be said to have deserved his fate or brought it upon himself.”

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

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

The court heard that Mr Gray’s body was discovered by his upstairs neighbour on 19 March last year after he smelt gas coming from the flat.

Police were called when an engineer could not enter the ground-floor property and they found Mr Gray lying dead in his dressing gown in the hallway. The flat had also been ransacked.

Rodak went on trial for murder earlier this year, but was convicted of  culpable homicide on grounds of diminished responsibility.

Rodak claimed his post-traumatic stress disorder had been sparked by Mr Gray slapping him during a sex act. The 21-year-old told the court he has been raped when he was 15.

He claimed the slap had reminded him of this and that had triggered the violence.

Once he had killed Mr Gray, Rodak left a lit candle next to four gas burners in the kitchen and fled. But Rodak left behind his Polish bank card, which helped police trace him.

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

Rodak told consultant psychiatrist Dr Fionnbar Lenihan, 45, that he decided to leave and Mr Gray followed him into  the kitchen.

Rodak alleged that Mr Gray pushed him, hit him again and said: “I’m paying you.”

Rodak then said he picked up a knife from a table and said: “I go wild, you know.”

Dr 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  post-traumatic stress disorder when he carried out the killing.

If he had the condition, Dr Crichton said, he would not have put himself in a position of reliving the traumatic experience of being sexually abused by an older man.

Defence QC Murdo Macleod said: “He has no previous convictions whatsoever. He has always admitted that he killed Mr Gray.”

After the verdict earlier this year, Mr Gray’s brother Fred said: “We will never forget Roger, who helped many people during his life.”