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Man to appeal three month prison sentence for abducting two children outside their home

'In the 21st Century no one is this stupid,' said the district judge. 'Who in the right mind takes someone else’s children and drives off with them?'

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A man is to appeal against a three month prison sentence he received for the abduction of two children from outside their home.

Sentencing the 57-year-old, the district judge commented: “In the 21st Century no one is this stupid. Who in the right mind takes someone else’s children and drives off with them?”

Mariusz Jan Drzewiecko, of Princess Gardens, Portadown, appeared for sentencing on two counts of child abduction at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 13, of last year, police received a report of a kidnapping in the Princess Gardens area of Portadown.

The defendant was alleged to have invited a seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl into his car without the permission of the children’s parents or guardians.

Drzewiecko drove out of the space in which his car was parked before returning quickly after the children became “upset”.

As the two young children got out of the car they appeared distressed. The defendant was seen patting the four-year-old girl on the head and giving both chocolate.

When interviewed, Drzewiecko admitted that the children had been in his vehicle and that he had moved a short distance.

Defence barrister Gavyn Cairns stated: “I would ask your worship to take into consideration the plea and that no witnesses were ever tasked to the court.

“The plea was on the agreed basis that the vehicle moved an incredibly short distance and he stopped as soon as the children were not content.”

He commented that this was a “catastrophic error of judgement” and that prior to this Drzewiecko had been invited to the home for barbecues.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “In the 21st Century no one is this stupid. Who in the right mind takes someone else’s children and drives off with them?

“I understand that this was only a short distance, nevertheless we are talking about two very scared children. Court has to be seen to send out a message.”

Drzewiecko was sentenced to three months in prison for the offences, however, Mr Cairns made the court aware that his client wished to appeal this sentence.

The defendant was granted his own bail of £500 in order to appeal, conditions of this included; not to be within 500 metres of any premises that is designed to attract children, such as schools, play parks, leisure centres, swimming pools, not to have children in his company and not to approach or speak with any child.

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