Mum begged friend to call police as stalker ex stabbed her during FaceTime call

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Suleman Altaf was jailed for life after he attacked a mum and killed her son (Image: Greater Manchester Police)
Suleman Altaf was jailed for life after he attacked a mum and killed her son (Image: Greater Manchester Police)

A mum screamed for help as she was stabbed during a FaceTime call - then her son ran in to try and save her, only to be killed himself.

Katarzyna Bastek had been on a video call with a pal when she heard a noise behind her at her home in Miles Platting, Manchester. Suleman Altaf, wearing a surgical mask, stabbed her with a large knife before her son, 15-year-old Jakub Szymanski ran in on June 9 last year.

The heroic teen moved towards the knifeman and was punched in the face. The two fell to the ground and in the ensuing fight, the boy was killed and Altaf fled. In a pathetic attempt to evade justice, Altaf tried to grab a dinghy and sail across the English Channel.

His efforts were in vain and he was brought back in to face the consequences of his actions. He's now been jailed for life and will serve at least 30 years behind bars.

Mum begged friend to call police as stalker ex stabbed her during FaceTime call rriddqikeiqtkinvJakub Szymanski, pictured celebrated his 15th, and last, birthday (MEN Media)
Mum begged friend to call police as stalker ex stabbed her during FaceTime callA young Jakub pictured with his mum Katarzyna (MEN Media)

In the moments before her young son died, Ms Bastek shouted: “Kuba, please help me!” The mum-of-four, met Altaf in 2012 over the internet whilst she still lived in Poland, The Manchester Evening News reported. A relationship developed after she moved to the UK a year later and they had a son. However, Altaf’s treatment of her became toxic and they split up in 2015, going to court that decided the mum would care for the boy.

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On the fateful day in question, Altaf had been stalking the mum’s house for hours before he let himself in. Before the attack the mum begged: “Please, I beg you, don’t do nothing wrong,” before Altaf attacked her, stabbing her repeatedly all whilst she shouted for her friend on the other end of the call to call the police.

Giving evidence at his trial, Ms Bastek said "I was shouting at him to leave me alone. I remember I stood up and shouted: ‘Kuba, please help me’.

Mum begged friend to call police as stalker ex stabbed her during FaceTime callPolice at the scene of the horrific double stabbing in Miles Platting, Manchester (MEN Media)

When the teenager raced downstairs he was greeted by the horror scene of his mum bleeding heavily from her wounds. Altaf knocked her phone from her hand and stabbed her to the head as she continued to scream for help. The attacker shoved her back and the court heard he said: “I can leave you now.” Meanwhile, her teenage son had been stabbed and was choking on his own blood.

Recalling those last horror moments, Ms Bastek said she held her song and said: “Kuba, open your eyes, don’t close them please,” before he lost consciousness. As various members of the family turned up, including her eldest son Mikolaj, Altaf was in a taxi back to his home in Slough.

He then drove south to Dover, before getting on a dinghy in the English Channel. At around 6.18pm the following day, he was spotted by an RNLI crew. After almost an hour of negotiations, Altaf agreed to abandon his plans to sail to France and onto Portugal. He was arrested and brought back to Manchester.

Mum begged friend to call police as stalker ex stabbed her during FaceTime callThe horrific attack took place on June 9 last year (MEN Media)

Ms Bastek was immediately rushed to hospital, where she was treated for horrific wounds to her face, chest, as well as a collapsed lung. Whilst there she was interviewed by the police in which she recounted the devastating moment her brave son slowly lost consciousness.

Jakub’s courage meant that his mother is still alive, and his selfless act is one that will be remembered for years to come. As Altaf was jailed for life on Friday, Ms Bastek said in a victim impact statement: “Losing a child is difficult for any mother to bear. He came into my house to hurt me, this he did, not only physically but also the horrific injuries he inflicted on an innocent 15-year-old boy which resulted in his death.

“Altaf had no reason to come to the house. All we have now are memories. He had his whole life to live and spoke about a career in building. We can only describe him as unique, as each and every day he made us smile and laugh. Those quirky things that made us chuckle.”

Now their door, which would usually stay unlocked, is permanently secured. Ms Bastek’s sons routinely check to make sure their family home is safe, and monitor the Ring doorbell, just in case.

“I have guilt that I survived and I lost my son,” Ms Bastek added. Speaking on behalf of the family, Mikolaj looked straight at Altaf in the glass dock of Manchester Crown Court. He kept his head low, not making eye contact with his estranged partner’s heartbroken son.

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“Kuba had a special smile and a special face. That day he was our special hero. Kuba, we can’t and will never replace you. My only question is - Was it worth it? Because you have ruined the family.”

Altaf was jailed for life to serve a minimum term of 30 years in prison for murder, attempted murder and possession of a knife in a public place.

Amy Walker

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