Customer falsely imprisoned UPC agent over internet delay


A MAN has been sentenced for falsely imprisoning a cable TV salesman after waiting at home for two days for an installation engineer from the company to call to his Co Dublin address.

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

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said it was understandable Pelc was frustrated at UPC’s behaviour, but his response was completely inappropriate.

Garda Emer Tomkins told prosecuting counsel Maurice Coffey 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 13th, 2010, the salesman cold-called to Pelc’s home and offered to sign him up to a broadband and TV package.

Pelc gave his details and agreed to set up a direct debit for €50 a month.

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

Pelc came to the conclusion Mr Kazmierczak was a “cowboy” fraudster who had conned him, and he came up with a plan. 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 in Clondalkin.

When Mr Kazmierczak arrived, Pelc and three other men, including co-accused Lukasz Pietruch, told him he wasn’t going anywhere until he sorted out Pelc’s broadband. The victim tried to reassure Pelc he was a genuine employee of UPC but Pelc threatened to get a garden shears and cut his fingers off.

Mr Kazmierczak rang his boss at UPC and Pietruch spoke to this man, who confirmed he worked for UPC.

Pelc continued to threaten Mr Kazmierczak, saying he had 24 hours to install his broadband or he would kill him. The “traumatic” ordeal lasted about 40 minutes.

The court heard Pelc has no previous convictions here but is wanted in Poland to serve a sentence for an incident involving the threatening use of violence. Pelc, of Old Court Lodge, Firhouse, had pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and making threats.

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, Pietruch (31), Ballymount Cottages, Clondalkin, who assaulted the salesman, was sentenced to three months, which was suspended on condition that he pay €1,750 compensation to his victim.The judge noted he played a smaller role but said he should have tried to restrain his friend.