Jailed: Amphetamine user who imprisoned Digbeth charity staff

Michal Malecki – picture from West Midlands Police


A drug user who sparked a five hour siege when he took two charity workers hostage in Birmingham city centre has been jailed.

High on amphetamines, Michal Malecki, 31, was seen acting bizarrely on Digbeth High Street in the minutes before he took staff at Bita Pathways office captive on August 19.

As he was jailed for four-years-and-three-months at Birmingham Crown Court (Dec 17) it was heard he slashed one worker with a pair of scissors.

He made two cuts to her arm in full view of armed police who had surrounded the Alcester Street office.

Judge Philip Parker QC told Malecki, of no fixed address:  “I obviously acknowledge the reason these offences occurred was because of your mental health suffering at the time.

“You did not appreciate the harm you were doing.

“On the other hand the major reason you were unbalanced at the time was because you were taking illegal drugs.

“You did not appreciate the amphetamines you took would go on to cause such an acute episode.

“You falsely imprisoned these two ladies believing you were under threat.

“You held the ladies captive for three-and-a-half hours and demanded police be called which they were.

“You were abusive towards the ladies, threatening, and ultimately when police were there deliberately wounded Fiona Coakley, cutting her arm twice with a pair of scissors.”

Continue reading


Sparkhill paedophile jailed after year on the run

David Swift - Picture from West Midlands Police
David Swift – Picture from West Midlands Police

A “depraved” paedophile who fled the UK after being caught with over 100,000 sick images of children has been jailed after a year on the run.

David Swift, aged 54, was spotted in Starbucks on Colmore Row, Birmingham, looking at indecent images on a laptop in October last year.

Concerned customers called police and, after efforts to escape, Swift was arrested and charged.

After admitting six counts of possession and six counts of distributing indecent images of children, Swift, of Phillip Sydney Road, Sparkhill, fled the UK, firstly to Germany to visit his grown up son, and then to Ireland.

It was there he was eventually arrested in November and returned to the UK to face justice.

During his time on the run he was listed as one of West Midlands Police’s most wanted criminals.

Appearing via video link at Birmkngham Crown Court he was finally sentenced to four years and eight months behind bars with an extended five year licence period on Thursday (December 17).

Patrick Sullivan prosecuting, said Swift had amassed a library of sick images some of which he had shared with others on the internet.

He told the court; “Customers were at Starbucks on Colmore Row, the defendant was there and had a laptop.

“They (the customers) couldn’t help but notice the defendant was scrolling through the screen and there were jpegs which showed naked children.

“Acting with deep concern and civic responsibility they called the police.

“There were very very many images of the worst depravity to children.

“There were 137,293 still images and 4,000 moving images and there was distribution through a file sharing site.”

Continue reading

Jailed: Robber who tied belt around victim’s throat in Digbeth

Lee Brend – picture from West Midlands Police
A robber tied a belt around the neck of his victim and dragged him along the ground in a brutal late night attack.
Lee Brend, 28, was fleeing police for an affray in Digbeth when he came across his drunk victim sitting in the street.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how the dad-of-two set about the man in his early 20s, twice wrapping his belt around the victim’s throat and dragging him along the road.
He robbed him of a passport and mobile phone, which were later found dumped in the street, and a bangle.
The welder, of Landrail Walk, Chelmsley Wood, pleaded guilty to a count of affray and one of robbery.
Jailing him for three years on December 14, Judge Richard Bond said; “He was vulnerable that evening, he was a young man on his own who was drunk and so was easy pickings for you.
“Rather than just run away you thought it appropriate to rob a young man while he lay on the ground.
“It is a serious robbery.
“A weapon was produced and you used force resulting in injuries.
“What really concerns me is the use of the belt.
“You deliberately took the belt off his trousers and wrapped it around his neck and pulled him along the ground.
“He can be seen desperately trying to remove the belt because you were choking him, you must have been.
“It was an incredibly dangerous thing to do in my judgement

Continue reading

Rapist who befriended Perry Barr student before sex attack jailed

Awais Khan - picture from West Midlands Police
 Khan – picture from West Midlands Police

A sex predator who befriended a student by carrying her shopping later crept into her garden and subjected her to a brutal rape.

Awais Khan, 26, approached his victim at Witton train station late on July 2 after she had been shopping with a friend.

He insisted on carrying her shopping and continued talking to her until he discovered the 20-year-old’s address.

Days later the chicken.com worker, of Witton Road, climbed into her back garden over a wall and lay in wait until the student was home alone.

He then invited himself into her house and forced himself upon her in a prolonged attack.

Jailing him for seven-years and four months Judge Nicholas Cole praised the victim and her family who attended court to see twisted Khan locked up.

Continue reading

Serial drink driver a ‘death in waiting’ says judge

Abeer Hussain - Picture from West Midlands Police
Abeer Hussain – Picture from West Midlands Police

 *Here’s a case I covered last week which was picked up by The Sun, The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and in print by the Daily Star*

As we come into the drink driving season (are we ever out of it?) a judge said he was unable to protect the public from a “deadly” drink driver because of sentencing limits.

Days before police forces began their annual clampdown on boozed up drivers Recorder Stephen Lowne said Abeer Hussain, 29, was a “death in waiting” and that it was a “tragedy” he could not jail the drunk for more than 27 months.

Hussain, of Cuthbert Road, Winson Green, Birmingham, had three previous convictions for drink driving when he appeared at Birmingham Crown Court for a fourth on November 26.

With previous convictions for drink driving from 2006 and 2014, Hussain was charged with dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and drink driving in May this year.

While awaiting sentence for those offences he was arrested drunk behind the wheel again in November and jailed for 16 weeks by Birmingham Magistrates for drink driving and driving while banned.

Both times he was around twice the legal limit.

He was jailed by Recorder Lowne for 21 months for dangerous driving, three months for drink driving and three months for driving while disqualified.

All of those terms are to be served on top of the 16 weeks handed down by the mags on November 9.

But as he jailed Hussain, the Recorder said it was a “tragedy” he couldn’t lock up serial drink driver for longer in order to protect the public from his lethal habits.

Recorder Lowne said: “It is a tragedy I can’t protect the public by imposing a sentence that is deserved because of the maximum limit for offences of dangerous driving.

“I have no hope whatsoever that you will reform, that once released you won’t get drunk and get behind the wheel of a car.

Continue reading

Gambler blackmailed 75-year-old friend to pay off debts

Steven Anson – Picture from West Midlands Police
A cruel gambler befriended then blackmailed a 75-year-old widower in an effort to pay off his gaming debts.
Steven Anson, 32, threatened to spread rumours the pensioner used prostitutes in order to extort cash from his former friend.
He had already borrowed £300 from his victim before the pensioner refused any further loans.
Resorting to blackmail, Anson forced his victim to hand over another £400.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how Anson, of Charlton Road, Kingstanding, even signed a promise to his elderly victim to stop blackmailing him, only to make further threats.
Pleading guilty to blackmail, Anson, who has a young daughter and a stepson, was jailed for two years and two months.
Judge Mary Stacy told the callous crook; “Blackmail is a nasty crime and the victim in this case was particularly vulnerable.

Continue reading