A POLISH bus driver, accused of killing an art student from Staplecross, has told a court he would ‘never forgive himself’ for what happened.
Kate Zaks, who grew up in the village, was found dead near a railway embankment in Krakow, Poland, on July 30 last year.
The 21-year-old, who had dual British and Polish nationality, had just completed her second year reading History of Art at Canterbury and was staying with Polish relatives in Krakow to allow her to do some work experience at an art gallery.
On the night she died, Kate had fallen asleep on a bus which was being driven by 44-year-old Miroslav L.
Kate woke up at the last stop and asked him for a drive home, the hearing in Krakow was told.
A row ensued between the pair and Miroslav beat Kate over the head with a length of pipe.
He then fled, leaving her unconscious in a muddy ditch.
Miroslav apologised to Kate’s parents Greg and Viola, who were present in the court.
He told the court he had been experiencing a number of personal problems and had just finished a ‘rough shift’ just before the argument with Kate.
The trial could last for several months and Miroslav could face life in prison.
Greg and Viola Zaks ran the Staplecross Post Office and Stores for about ten years.
Following the death of their only child Kate, known locally as Kia, the couple chose to leave the village for their native Poland back in February.
The trial continues.