Birmingham & Black Country

Man jailed for holding women hostage in Digbeth armed siege

Michal Malecki Image copyright West Midlands Police

A man who went into a mental health charity and assaulted staff before keeping two women hostage has been jailed for more than four years.

Michal Malecki, 31, admitted false imprisonment and wounding after storming into the Bita Pathways centre on Alcester Street in the Digbeth area of Birmingham in August.

One of the women he held hostage needed stitches to her arm after Malecki cut her with scissors.

The siege lasted for nearly five hours.

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Image caption Armed police were called to Alcester Street while Malecki held two women hostage

About 20 members of staff, 100 service users and 10 students in the building were moved from the centre to the nearby Spotted Dog pub while police negotiators tried to persuade Malecki to release the women.

Shortly before he went into the charity he had been reported as "behaving erratically" in a nearby bus station, pushing a till off a counter and trying to smash a display cabinet.

He then went outside and jumped on and rode on the bonnet of a moving car before going into the Pathways centre.

At the time, the chief executive of Pathways, Erica Barnett, said the man "was not connected in any way" to the charity and was "a total stranger off the street."

Image copyright @DavidwBarnesENG
Image caption Armed police at the scene outside Bita Pathways where two women were taken hostage

As well as wounding and false imprisonment, Malecki pleaded guilty to the possession of class B drugs and two counts of common assault. He was jailed for four years and three months.

Det Ch Insp Sean Russell from West Midlands Police, said: "Malecki was responsible for a terrifying attack on staff at a charity he had no connection with. I am satisfied that he has been made to pay for his crimes.

"I hope that his jailing will mean the victims of his crimes can start to move forward knowing their attacker has been brought to justice."

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