Unjust justice: how British officials are using immigrants from Eastern Europe, like Poles, to improve their statistics

Polish immigrants residing in the UK do not have very good reputation, both for the local police and for the courts that hear criminal cases. One gets the impression that for British authorities who enforce the law, Poles are used to improve statistics …

Read this article in Polish: Niesprawiedliwa sprawiedliwość

Statistics on crime in the British Isles unfortunately do not put us Polish immigrants in a positive light. We continue to deal with an infamous first place among foreigners living in Britain when it comes to the number of crimes committed. Both serious and common.

Of course we are talking about absolute numbers, because if counted as a percentage, we probably would not have the lead.

Most of the judgments handed down by the British courts in criminal matters that concern our people are often legitimate, but only generally, as many Poles often fall victims of unscrupulous police officers, prosecutors and judges.

Things get bad from the start: determining the offender, and later in the preparatory proceedings, in the investigation and at the end of the process. Foreign nationals from poor countries, especially those who do not speak English, or speak it poorly, are easily duped into major or minor offenses.

Undoubtedly, one of the most serious and well-known cases is that of James Tomczak, a Pole who was accused and convicted of rape and causing grievous bodily harm to a 52-year-old woman from  Exeter. The main evidence in this case were pictures taken from CCTV cameras – the court found that Tomczak was following the victim of, despite the fact that the expert hired by the family of accused Pole, who was also investigating those tapes, said that they had been set up and the barely visible person in the photograms was not proper evidence to determine the offender.

In Anglo-Saxon legal systems (USA, United Kingdom) to convict guilty in a criminal trial, his guilt must be proved "beyond reasonable doubt." In practice, this means there is roughly 80 percent certainty that the condemned is guilty. The term "beyond reasonable doubt" would mean 100 percent certainty, and theoretically it is valid in the Polish system as well (as in many other European legal systems), although practically every doubt is resolved in favor of the accused.

In Tomczak’s case though, the court broke the principle of presumption of innocence. The inspection at the place of crime was also inaccurate and deficient. The court also did not take into account the fact that Tomczak has shown that he could not have been at that location when the crime occurred. In the DNA study, errors were also committed, which resulted in the suspension of the doctor performing the analysis. However, these above mentioned fundamental issues were not taken into account by the British court. Jakub Tomczak was found guilty, but in light of existing evidence – he should not have been.

Another slightly less noisy affair, which can show how the British judiciary system works with immigrants, was the case of Jolanta Pietrusińska, a Polish woman caught driving a car while intoxicated. This case would probably never have come out, if she had not hit a car driven by an Englishman. Another slightly less noisy affair, which can show how the British judiciary system works with immigrants, was the case of Jolanta Pietrusińska, a Polish woman caught driving a car while intoxicated. This case would probably never have come, if she had not hit a car driven by an Englishman. The driver was sober, but he was driving his vehicle improperly and had in actual fact caused the whole accident. He presented "his" version of the accident to the police, who gave him faith, but traces clearly indicated that he was the culprit.

Pietrusińska consistently clung to her version. In the meantime, the person truly responsible for the accident died, not as a result of injuries, but of pneumonia. Almost immediately, the classification of the act changed – from that moment on, Jolanta Pietrusińska was accused of causing a road accident fatalities. She faces eight years in prison, and not, as per the previous charges – a mere fine.

Her lawyer urged her to admit the charge, ensuring her that she would not go to the prison. The poor woman, suffering from bad health conditions and with two disabled sons, driven into a corner from all sides, agreed to her lawyer's proposal. And it was her biggest mistake. The court was uncompromising. After the swift trial, woman was sentenced to spend eight years behind the bars. Of course, she can appeal, but only with a help of her previous lawyer, who does not seem to be interested in the case of his former client. Besides, she would not have the financial resources to hire a lawyer. British lawyers know about this, so quite often they are turning real criminals to the victims and vice versa for money. So the woman dropped the case.

In Britain, an appeal may help, but it can also hurt as the court cited an instance can reduce, maintain, or add to the penalty. To serve half her sentence was only two years. Has a chance to go free so do not tempt earth appeal. British lawyers know this, because for the money, often criminals do with the victim and vice versa.

Another known case is the Jeremiah Kosinski case, the driver from Scotland, who for three years has consistently battled with local police, prosecutors and courts, convinced of his rights. He was prosectued on the grounds that the third party insurance on his private car, which he bought in Poland, was invalid in Scotland. During the whole battle, even his car was auctioned, despite the fact that the appeal process was still in course.

The case of Jeremiasz Kosinski reached the Supreme Court of Scotland, and then to the Commission for the Revision of the Judgments, which pointed out dozens of errors made by police, prosecutors and courts of all instances.

Unfortunately, not every Pole is Jeremiah Kosinski …

Piotr Wojtowicz

The Polish Observer


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