The heartbroken husband of a mum who was killed by a schizophrenic Polish man in her own home says he cannot come to terms with not being there to save her.

Nicola Cross, 37, had phoned her husband in terror when a man broke into their house. And Daniel Cross, 39, could only listen helplessly as she was stabbed to death.

Mrs Cross had been trying to save her children from being kidnapped when Marcin Porcynski, 24, broke into her home in Hertfordshire last year.

Mr Porcynski, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, said he had heard voices which instructed him to “free” children or his own family would be in danger. He said he believed that the children were being starved. The man, who was a total stranger to the Cross family, has now been ordered to remain indefinitely in a mental hospital after stabbing the mum of two ten times. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.


Mr Cross was away on business when his wife was killed. Following the sentencing, he has spoken out about how the phone calls plays over and over again in his head. He also said he cannot forgive himself for not being at home that dreadful day. He heard his wife pleading before screaming loudly, and then silence.

After stabbing Mrs Cross with a small and a large knife he had taken from her kitchen, he then headed upstairs and tried to take the children. However, by that time, police officers had arrived at the scene and detained him. Officers kept the children upstairs while colleagues attended to their mum. But, nothing could be done to save her and she was declared dead at the scene.

The Polish national will only be released when he is deemed to no longer be a threat to society.

Published by Elizabeth

A journalist from the South West of England, Elizabeth specialises in writing about politics, health and technology.