In February, 32-year-old Maciej D., suspected of robbery, escaped from the building of the Białystok-Południe District Prosecutor’s Office. Now he was sentenced to three years imprisonment. This is a combined penalty for robbery and escape.
On Wednesday, the District Court in Białystok sentenced a man accused of a robbery with a knife in one of the local shops to three years in prison and then escaping from a hearing in the prosecutor’s office. The judgment is not final; the prosecution wanted six years in prison.
He jumped out of the window at the prosecutor’s office
The case became famous in the media in February, when the detainee managed to escape from the interrogation in the building of the district prosecutor’s offices in Białystok. The 33-year-old went there in connection with a robbery in one of the stores in Białystok. The perpetrator threatened the saleswoman with a knife and demanded the money; ran out of the store with a cash box, the owner estimated the loss at over four thousand zlotys.
The called police patrol detained a man in the vicinity corresponding to the description of the attacker; this one tried to flee when he saw the police car. He managed to escape from the prosecutor’s office through the window when the interrogator left the room on the ground floor for a short time.
The suspect was arrested a few days later. It turned out that he was hiding in a vacant house in one of the villages near Moniek (Podlasie). He was so surprised he made no attempt to run away. He has been under temporary arrest since his arrest.
He wanted three years in prison for himself
On Wednesday, his trial ended in front of the District Court in Białystok. The prosecution wanted a total of six years in prison; in her opinion, both the crime in the shop itself, classified as a crime, and the escape from interrogation, deserve a severe punishment.
The defendant and his lawyer wanted the punishment as lenient as possible. The man claimed that his drug addiction was behind everything. Before the closure of the trial, he made a declaration of willingness – as he put it – self-punishment, he wanted three years in prison. The court, however, did not accept such a request for voluntary submission to the penalty; formally, it could only be submitted at the beginning of the trial – until the accused had completed the submission of explanations.
There is no doubt about the guilt
Despite the rejection of the request, the district court assessed that the prosecutor’s proposal was too harsh and invalidated a total sentence of three years in prison. – There were no doubts as to the commission of the alleged acts by the accused – said judge Beata Brysiewicz in the verbal justification of the judgment. She explained that in the case of a robbery with the use of a knife, it did not matter to convince the saleswoman in the store whether the knife could actually be used. – Just pulling the knife out already puts you in danger – she added.
When justifying the penalty for the so-called self-release (escape from the interrogation) was reminiscent of the defendant’s explanation that – taking advantage of the fact that he stayed alone in the interrogation room – he opened the window and jumped out.
Judge Brysiewicz admitted that robbery with the use of a dangerous tool is one of the most serious criminal offenses, but noted that the court has the possibility to moderate the penalty in order to individualize it. And she said that although the perpetrator’s behavior was “most reprehensible and unfounded”, he was not aggressive enough to require punishment in the upper limits of the statutory threat (the perpetrator was facing up to 12 years in prison); similarly assessed the penalty for escaping from the interrogation.
There is no deep demoralisation in his case
The judge noted that the accused had expressed remorse; she assessed that in his case there was no deep demoralization, which would result in a more severe punishment. The court agreed with the opinion that the man was addicted to drugs, but – here judge Brysiewicz referred to expert opinions – he did not require addiction therapy or closed drug addiction treatment.
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Łomża was investigating the escape. She did not find any failure to fulfill her duties neither by the assessor and the lawyer who were with the man in the interrogation room, nor by the policemen who were behind the door when the man escaped.
The seat of the Białystok-Południe District Prosecutor’s Office is located in Białystok at 103 Mickiewicza Street
Main photo source: Podlasie Police