Karolina’s killing: Family get longer temporary shelter from Tower Hamlets Council
PUBLISHED: 15:27 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 24 May 2017
A family facing eviction today from emergency accommodation after having to quit their flat in Limehouse where 20-year-old Karolina Chwiluk was stabbed to death in front of them have been given extra time to stay.
Monika Fijak, 42, who was also stabbed in the incident in Dora Street on May 4, had been told she and her two children must leave their bed and breakfast hotel by noon and return to the privately-rented flat in Dora Street.
But the family are traumatised and say they can’t go back because of ‘flashback’ memories of Karolina’s killing.
The East London Advertiser contacted Tower Hamlets Council with just hours to go before the noon deadline.
Now the council says they can stay another week at the small b&b hotel where they were put up after their home became a police ‘murder crime scene’ while a solution is found.
“It’s impossible to go back to that flat,” Monika told the Advertiser.
“Karolina was like a daughter to me. She died in that place, in my home. I think all the time about trying to save her when I tried to shield her. It was terrible. There was a lot of blood as she died.”
Monika, 42, has a stab wound on her arm and was treated later in hospital.
“I saw Karolina always smiling,” she recalls. “But now I get flashback nightmares seeing her dying in my corridor in a lot of blood.”
The front-door has also been broken in since the incident and is only secured with an outside padlock.
Karolina’s cousin and “best friend” was Monika’s daughter Ida, 17, who said: “It’s not enough that I’ve lost my very best friend, who was a family member as well.
“The council told us we can’t get accommodation as we’re not on the waiting list.
“But we’ve been made homeless by what happened. There is no way we can go back to the old flat. We don’t feel safe there—we need emergency housing.”
Paramedics from the Royal London Hospital fought for 40 minutes to save Karolina at 11.30pm on May 4, but she died in the hallway with a neck wound.
Tower Hamlets deputy mayor for housing Sirajul Islam said: “The council will always be sensitive and supportive towards those in need, particularly those in such difficult situations.
“Karolina’s killing was a tragic, senseless incident. We fully appreciate how difficult this must be for those who live where it took place and especially who witnessed it. This must be deeply distressing for them.”
A 23-year-old man has since been charged with Karolina’s murder and with wounding two others in the flat and has appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court.