A man has told a court how he was violently attacked on his own doorstep by another man who called to his home demanding cash under the guise of an unlicensed moneylending operation.
Twenty-nine-year-old Marcin Rosada, 6 Oaklands Dale, Longford town, was found guilty of assaulting Robert Pytel at 21 Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, Longford on October 10 2020.
The court heard the unemployed father of one had called to the home of the victim to chase up a €150 debt in connection to money he had borrowed from Mr Rosada in the weeks leading up to the incident.
Mr Pytel said he first met the accused through the defendant’s partner’s father. He said he met Mr Rosada in Lidl in Longford around five weeks beforehand where he borrowed €100.
Judge Marie Keane was told the accused charged Mr Pytel €25 interest before taking a further sum, monies which Mr Pytel insisted were repaid.
“My payments were made in full by September 23,” he said, claiming he had postal orders and receipts to back up those assertions.
He said at around 4pm on October 10 last, Mr Rosada knocked on his door with another man, Miroslaw Kondrat.
Within seconds, Mr Pytel said the accused demanded €150 from him, which was immediately turned down by Mr Rosada.
“I said: ‘I will not pay you any more and he then punched me in the face with his left hand, so I pushed him back to protect my family and home and we went back and fell on the mud,” he said.
It was at that stage, the victim said Mr Kondrat came over and started kicking Mr Pytel as he wrestled with Mr Rosada on the ground.
“I was trying to hide my face to prevent being kicked,” he said, moments before he and Mr Rosada climbed back to their feet.
In a brief exchange that followed, Mr Pytel said the accused told him: “I will break your legs”, just as the victim’s wife emerged from the house to say she would phone the Gardaí.
Mr Pytel was taken to Mullingar’s Midland Regional Hospital as a precautionary measure but returned home with no lasting physical injuries.
Photocopies of cuts and bruises to Mr Pytel’s face were handed into court by the prosecution as Mr Pytel outlined how the attack left him in fear for several weeks afterwards.
“I was stressed out and worrying that when I was away from home, they could come back and harm my wife and kids,” he said.
“I was calling my wife more often than I usually did and locking the door more than I usually did.”
In defence, solicitor Bríd Mimnagh implied Mr Pytel had bought a car from her client and had given €500 towards its purchase.
Ms Mimnagh also maintained Mr Rosada and his co-accused were at another location on the day of the alleged incident.
The court also heard from investigating officer Garda Rachel Carlin who said when herself and a colleague arrived at the scene, Mr Pytel told of how both men had beaten him up.
Mr Rosada, who spoke via an interpreter, took to the stand soon after and denied any involvement in the alleged incident.
Under direct questioning from his solicitor, Mr Rosada replied: “I can’t recall such an incident” and replied: “No” when asked if he had ever been at the victim’s house and assaulted him.
He claimed he had sold Mr Pytel a 2008 registered Opel Corsa for €2,000 and received “around €500 “ for it.
He also alleged 42 gardaí had turned up to his house in January this year for the purposes of arresting him.
“The whole road was blocked,” he said.
“When I asked what they wanted, they were not in a position to tell me why they were there.”
Mr Rosada went onto claim he had been with his partner on the day of the alleged incident.
“I brought my child to my brother’s house and I was spending time with my girlfriend. It doesn’t happen very much that I can leave the child with my brother,” he added, stating he had “notes” in a calendar to corroborate those insinuations.
Under cross examination from Inspector Frank Finn, for the State, Mr Rosada was pressed as to how he could not recall selling a car for €2,000 to a man he barely knew.
“You have notes about your brother looking after your child but you don’t have notes about selling the car?” Inspector Finn asked.
Mr Rosada replied, alleging the agreement between himself and Mr Pytel was for monies to be paid via installments but opted against pursuing the issue any further.
He told the court once the charge levelled against him was finalised, he would contact gardaí and issue proceedings against Mr Pytel.
Inspector Finn said the version of events put forward by Mr Rosada were at best fanciful, and simply not credible.
“I find it very hard to believe there had been a transaction between you and when you say he (My Pytel) didn’t repay you, you were going to seek legal recourse by following it up in a number of months,” he said.
Three receipts allegedly showing An Post payments were handed into Judge Keane appearing to show monies which had been paid to Mr Rosada by the victim on three separate dates in September last year.
Mr Rosada’s alleged accomplice, Mirolsav Konrad told the court how he had pleaded not guilty to also assaulting Mr Pytel on the same date and given a two month prison sentence as a result.
Inspector Finn, however, dismissed those claims by stating Mr Konrad had, in fact, tabled a guilty plea on July 27 2021 and was sentenced to two months in prison.
It later transpired Mr Kondrat had been serving an eight month sentence at the time for an unrelated matter, with the two month term being added to run concurrent to the custodial time he was already incarcerated for.
Despite those revelations, Mr Konrad continued to protest the State’s findings.
“I didn’t plead guilty,” he said.
“There were no witnesses. I was interviewed and brought to court and I got a two month sentence. Nobody told me anything about that case, just the sentence.”
Judge Keane, in giving her verdict, alluded to the “very clear evidence” given by Mr Pytel, saying she had been left in no doubt the accused had told a “tissue of lies” to the court.
She said Mr Rosada's claim he had parted with a vehicle valued at €2,000 to somebody he hardly knew while recouping only a fraction of its alleged worth “simply beggared belief”.
She likewise called into question the evidence given by Mr Kondrat as details of Mr Rosada's background and personal circumstances were outlined to the court.
Inspector Finn said Mr Rosada had a number of previous convictions to his name, three of which were recorded in Poland and dated back to 2011.
The most recent conviction in this jurisdiction took place in April 2020, resulting in a one month prison sentence and a five year driving ban for being caught at the wheel without insurance and using a false instrument.
Ms Mimnagh said her client was a father of one who, up until recently, had been in gainful employment.
Judge Keane said the court could not turn a blind eye to the type of violence Mr Pytel was subjected to.
“For anyone to call to somebody's house and assault them is totally unacceptable,” she said, describing it as an “unacceptable act of utter thuggery.”
She added: “This type of behaviour will not be tolerated,” as she sentenced a visibly shocked Mr Rosada to three months in prison.
Ms Mimnagh, swiftly asked for recognisances to be fixed in the event of an appeal.
Judge Keane acceded to that submission by requesting Mr Rosada to provide a €300 independent surety.
The accused subsequently met terms and now goes forward to the Circuit Criminal Court in a bid to reduce the severity of that conviction.
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