Jail for ‘Polish Pete’ race hate attacker

Wigan Magistrates' Court
Wigan Magistrates' Court

A former logistics worker who blamed “Polish Pete” and fellow Eastern Europeans for him losing his job hurled a rock through his front window in a revenge attack, a court heard.

Magistrates in Wigan were told victim Patrik Michalek wasn’t even from Poland - he had moved from the Czech Republic and lived with his family in Tyldesley for five years.

And he insisted he had done nothing to provoke ex-colleague Patrick Moran before the front window of his Johnson Street home was targeted last Thursday.

Katie Beattie, prosecuting, said that fortunately the family were not at home at the time of the attack, just before 8,30am.

Shortly afterwards Moran rang police and confessed to what he had done, even taking officers to the scene.

Ms Beattie said: “He said he had lost his job, and made a reference to ‘Polish Pete’ and that he should go back to his own country.”

He insisted he was not racist - but continued making references to Poles as he was led to a police van.

Moran told officers he had been taking drugs and he had to be taken to hospital for a check-up before he could be interviewed.

When questioned Moran also threatened to return to the house and burn it down if he was not sent to prison for what he had done.

Kevin Liston, defending, said his client had worked for Morrisons at Astley for nearly 10 years and claimed that Eastern European workers there had “ganged up on him” and made his working life a misery.

The court heard Moran stopped turning up for work and was eventually dismissed by the management.

Mr Liston said that had then caused the defendant’s life to spiral downwards, as he lost his home a short time later as he could not afford to keep up with his rent payments.

Moran had ended up living in a hostel, he added, where he was deeply unhappy as fellow residents were said to be taking heroin and crack cocaine, so he effectively made himself homeless, to avoid them.

“He felt that the catalyst for this was being treated in this way while he was working at Morrisons,” added Mr Liston.

The defendant had decided that he would be better off in prison, he told the court, and had thrown a rock at the property before calling 999 himself.

Mr Liston said the defendant hoped that he could receive some assistance from the authorities, after serving his sentence, to “sort himself out.” Questioned by the bench directly about his motives, Moran said: “There were a load of Polish people working there, who were calling me names.

“So I said let’s go out the front and sort this out, rather than just calling me names, because that’s what I’d rather have done.”

Moran, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage and breaching a conditional discharge, which was imposed for a theft offence last October.

Jailing him for eight weeks, the chairman of the bench said: “This was clearly a revenge attack with racist overtones and you also threatened further offences.

“You have also said openly in court that you would refuse to comply with any non-custodial sentence.

“As this clearly crosses the custody threshold then we are able to agree with your request.”