A murderer has been told he must serve a minimum of 22 years in prison for carrying out the brutal killing of a sex worker in Leeds’s managed red light area.
Lewis Pierre was handed a life sentence today after being found guilty of killing Daria Pionko in the Holbeck area of Leeds.
The 21-year-old Polish national was left blooded and battered by Pierre, 24, who used steel toecapped boots inflict horrific injuries to her head and body.
Leeds Crown Court heard Pierre, of Miles Hill Street, Meanwood, stole £80 from Daria during the fatal attack then spent the money on a takeaway meal and cannabis.
Pierre has previous convictions for violence against female partners. He also served a prison sentence for taking a mobile from a student when he robbed her in the street.
Daria had been living the in the UK for 10 months before her death on the night of December 22 last year.
Sentencing Pierre, Mr Justice Goss said: “In your total disregard for her as a person and driven by your own selfish desires, her life was ended in the miserable circumstances I have just described.”
After the case, Daria’s mother Lydia Pionko said: “Daria was a kind-hearted, joyful girl who loved her family dearly. She was popular and eager to help others.
“We are pleased that her murderer has been convicted, although nothing is going to bring my daughter back.”
Pierre had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery but denied murder.
Daria was found with serious injuries by her close friend on Springwell Road.
A post mortem examination revealed she had suffered fractures to her nose and facial bones.
She also suffered bruising to her brain and deep bruising and scratches to her face and upper body.
Scratches to Daria’s body indicated she was attacked while on the ground and injuries were “heavily suggestive” of Pierre using his feet in the attack.
Daria’s blood was later found on a pair of steel toecap boots and a cardigan found by police at Pierre’s home.
Pierre had been working as a lorry driver’s mate for a distribution firm based in Holbeck.
The trial heard he had arrived for work earlier in the day with no money and completed his shift without having anything to eat or drink.
CCTV footage showed Pierre entering the area where Daria was attacked shortly after he finished his shift at 10pm