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.”

During the stand-off Malecki continued to threaten Mrs Coakley and her colleague Ambreen Khan while police negotiators attempted to bring the siege to an end.

Judge Parker went on: “It goes without saying for these two ladies this was a terrifying incident.

“I have a victim statement from Fiona Coakley which reveals even by October she was still tearful when discussing this matter.

“It has affected her hugely.

“It took her a long time go back to work and aside from the mental scars she bears physical scars.”

On the day of the siege the court heard Malecki had caused damage to a till at the Upper Crust sandwich shop at Birmingham Coach station before he ran out into the street.

He was seen jumping onto the bonnet of a car demanding a lift before he made his way to the Pathways office on nearby Alcester Street.

It was around 3pm when he assaulted two members of staff, pushing them out into the street and blocking the door, leaving Mrs Coakley and Mrs Khan trapped with him inside.

At around 7pm he let Mrs Coakley leave before also releasing Mrs Khan an hour later.

He went on to plead guilty to two charges of false imprisonment, a charge of unlawful wounding, two charges of common assault and possession of amphetamines.

Samantha Crabb, defending, said Malecki came to the UK from Poland in 2008 and had been working until around 2014.

It was then he began taking amphetamines which, combined with a mental health disorder, caused him to suffer delusions.

She said: “The motivation through the whole incident as saving himself from what he believed to be a very real threat to his life.

“He did not appreciate what he was doing was wrong.”


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