A former chef, Marek Hecko, has been found guilty of murder following a three-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
He was handed a life sentence in prison and ordered to serve a minimum of 26 years.
The murder investigation was launched by Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate on July 25, 2022 after 44-year-old, father-of-two Adrian Ellingford was stabbed and died at an address in Chelmsford. The court heard how Adrian Ellingford was with a former partner of Hecko’s on the night of his death, and that Hecko had previously exhibited stalking behaviours towards her.
The court heard that no-one witnessed the stabbing, but a compelling circumstantial case was presented at trial involving the consideration of complex DNA evidence.
Hecko returned to the scene a few hours after murdering Mr Ellingford and started to tell police officers that he knew what had happened and that he could help. After becoming confrontational, he was arrested and whilst in custody was identified as the main suspect. He was charged within a few days with murder and remanded into custody.
At trial, Hecko claimed he was elsewhere at the time of the murder and that the DNA evidence had been mistakenly transferred to the murder weapon. His explanation was rejected by the jury.
Cyrus Shroff and Matthew Sorel-Cameron were instructed to prosecute by Katie Armstrong-Mason of the Crown Prosecution Service.