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Frustrated customer sentenced for falsely imprisoning cable TV salesman

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 pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and making threats. Pietruch of Ballymount Cottages, Clondalkin pleaded guilty to assault.

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

She noted Pietruch played a smaller role in the incident but said he should have tried to restrain his friend Pelc.

Garda Emer Tomkins told prosecuting counsel Maurice Coffey BL 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 at Old Court Lodge, Firhouse 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 than an engineer would call to install the broadband on April 19 and that he should stay at home.

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

Pelc came to the conclusion that Mr Kazmierczak was a “cowboy” fraudster who had conned him and he came up with a plan 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 (31) 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.

Gda 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.

The court heard that Pelc has no previous convictions here but is wanted in Poland to serve a sentence in relation to an incident involving the threatening use of violence.

Pietruch has four previous convictions, all for road traffic matters.

In a victim impact statement Mr Kazmierczak said that as a result of the incident he still has trouble sleeping. He said he has found it hard to put it behind him.

Defending Pelc, Vincent Heneghan BL said his client was very sorry and wants to apologise to the victim.

Kitty Perle, defending Pietruch, said her client didn't issue any threats and had played a very minor role in the crime.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said that Pelc had “scared the insides out of the injury party for up to 40 minutes”. She said the crime was premeditated and planned and that Pelc has a history of using violence against others.