Police were called to a residential address in Nelson Grove, Chelmsford at around 4:30am on Monday 25th July 2022.
They received reports of a man being badly injured. The victim, a man in his 40s, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
A homicide investigation was launched and officers from Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate arrested a 25-year-old man called Marek Hecko, from Chelmsford on suspicion of murder.
Whilst police officers were on scene guard at the address, a heavily intoxicated Marek Hecko approached carrying a bottle of brandy. He started to tell officers that he knew what had happened and that he could help. After becoming confrontational, he was arrested and whilst in custody, he was identified as the main suspect.
The victim was identified as 44-year-old Adrian Ellingford.
Adrian’s wife bravely read out her victim personal statement in court and described how Adrian was an “amazing husband, loving son, a caring brother, a friend to many and most importantly a truly brilliant father.”
“Words cannot describe how I feel about the events of 25th July 2022. 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 impact of his death has affected many people in very different ways. It is totally heartbreaking.
“He was a good man, always willing to help friends and neighbours out if they were in a pickle. He was hard working and caring, and nothing was too much trouble. He even volunteered at the boys’ scout group on a regular basis.
“In all of this it’s the impact on those two innocent boys that is the most heartbreaking thing. Yes we have all lost Adrian and are dealing our own grief and the consequences of his death but they did not deserve to have their beloved dad taken away from them like this. Having to tell them both that their beloved dad was never coming home was the most painful and heartbreaking thing that I have ever had to do. They are 12 and 10 years old and not really old enough to truly appreciate what they’ve lost.
“They will not have Adrian with them through the milestones in their lives. He will never be able to teach them to drive, buy them their first drink or to celebrate their academic achievements. He will never see them grow up into young men who will have partners and families of their own. No one will ever be able to replace their dad.
During the trial, which started on 13 February at Chelmsford Crown Court, Hecko tried to claim that he turned up, after seeing what had happened on the news, despite the news being nowhere online and on social media at this point.
The court heard how Adrian Ellingford was with a former partner of Hecko’s on the night of his death and that Hecko had exhibited stalking behaviours towards her.
Yesterday, Monday 13 March, a jury unanimously found him guilty of murder.
He appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Tuesday 14 March, where he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 26 years.
Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe said:
“From the moment this was declared a murder investigation, our team worked tirelessly to gather CCTV, statements and compile the evidence needed to charge Hecko.
“Despite the huge amount of work going on behind the scenes, we made supporting Adrian’s family a priority, and our family liaison officers have done an incredible job from the start.
“This was a senseless attack on Adrian, which has left two children without a father.
“I hope that they can move forward and find some closure now that Hecko is behind bars.”