herald

Monday 11 December 2017

TV salesman held hostage by angry customer

GUILTY: Dad's threat to cut off victim's fingers

A frustrated customer has been sentenced for falsely imprisoning a cable TV salesman after waiting at home for two days for an engineer from the company to show up.

Dariusz Pelc (38) threatened to cut the salesman's fingers off and later told him he would kill him if his broadband wasn't installed within 24 hours.

He was given a four-year suspended sentence but ordered to return to his native Poland to serve an outstanding two-year sentence for threatening behaviour.

His co-accused Lukasz Pietruch (31), who assaulted the salesman, was sentenced to three months which was suspended on condition he hands over €1,750 compensation to the victim.

Pelc, of Old Court Lodge, Firhouse, admitted false imprisonment and making threats. Pietruch, of Ballymount Cottages, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to assault.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring promised to jail Pelc if he got into trouble on his return to Ireland. She said it was understandable that he was frustrated at UPC but his response was completely inappropriate.



PASSPORT

Garda Emer Tomkins told the court that the victim Albert Kazmierczak (24) worked with UPC Telecoms selling TV and internet packages door to door.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that on April 13, 2010 the salesman cold-called to the home of Pelc and offered to sign him up to a broadband and TV package.

Pelc handed over details of his wife's passport and his bank account and agreed to set up a direct debit for €50 a month.

Mr Kazmierczak told the Polish father-of-one that an engineer would call to install the broadband on April 19.

The court heard that Pelc became frustrated after taking two days off work to wait for the engineer who never showed up.

Pelc came to the conclusion that Mr Kazmierczak had conned him and he decided to confront the salesman.

Pelc got a female friend to call the victim and pretend she wanted to buy broadband. She asked Mr Kazmierczak to call to a house at Ballymount Cottages in Clondalkin.

When Mr Kazmierczak came into the house Pelc and three other men, including Pietruch told him he wasn't going anywhere until he sorted out Pelc's broadband.

The victim tried to reassure Pelc that he was a genuine employee of UPC but Pelc threatened to get a garden shears and cut his fingers off if he didn't tell him the truth.

Garda Tomkins said that when the victim tried to get up and leave, Pietruch pushed him back in the chair and held him against his will.

The victim then rang his boss at UPC and Pietruch spoke to this man who confirmed that the victim worked for UPC.

The victim told Pelc that he'd have his broadband installed the next day. Pelc then continued to threaten the victim saying that he had 24 hours to install his broadband or he would kill him.

The "traumatic" ordeal lasted around 40 minutes and after Pelc left, the victim began crying down the phone to his boss.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Kazmierczak said that as a result of the incident he still has trouble sleeping.

Defending Pelc, Vincent Heneghan said his client wanted to apologise to the victim. Kitty Perle, defending Pietruch, said he had played a very minor role in the crime.

hnews@herald.ie

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