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Man jailed for dangerous driving, Harrow

News   •   Jan 12, 2018 17:35 GMT

[Marek Zakrocki]

A man who told police he was going to 'kill a Muslim' before driving into an Indian restaurant has been sentenced.

Marek Zakrocki, 48 (19.06.69) of Alexandra Avenue, Harrow, was sentenced to 33 weeks’ imprisonment at the Old Bailey today, Friday 12 January.

Zakrocki pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial at the Old Bailey on Monday, 4 December to dangerous driving and assault by beating. He also admitted to drink drive during the sentencing hearing.

He was sentenced as follows:

- dangerous driving - 32 weeks’ imprisonment;
- drink driving - six weeks’ imprisonment to run concurrently;
- assault by beating - seven days’ imprisonment to run consecutively.

Police were called at about 20:25hrs on Friday, 23 June 2017, to a man causing a disturbance and shouting racist abuse in the St Ann's Shopping Centre in Harrow town centre.

Officers attended the shopping centre, but the man had left prior to their arrival.

At about 20:40hrs, police were called to a van in collision with an Indian restaurant in Alexandra Parade, Harrow. No one was injured.

The van was driven away from the scene but was stopped by armed officers at 20:49hrs in Northolt Road, Harrow.

The driver of the van - Zakrocki - was found to be in possession of a kitchen knife and a baton-torch.

Zakrocki was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and driving under the influence of alcohol. Zakrocki was breathalysed and blew 99mg per 100ml of breath - the drink-drive limit is 35mg per 100ml of breath.

The court heard how on the evening of 23 June, Zakrocki had consumed about two bottles of wine before getting into an argument with his wife and grabbing her arm forcefully.

He then told his wife and daughter that he was going to attack a religious building with the intention of harming Muslims.

After Zakrocki left, his concerned daughter called the police.

Zakrocki was treated as a missing person and officers attended his home address and used his wife's mobile phone to call him. During the phone call, Zakrocki, a Polish national, told an officer: "I'm going to kill a Muslim. I'm doing this for Britain. This is the way I am going to help the country. You people can't do anything. I am going to do it my way because that is what I think is right."

At about 20:25hrs Zakrocki was seen by a group of people in St Ann's Road driving around the pedestrian zone shouting about 'white power.' He then parked up, went into the shopping area and pushed an unknown victim. He then went back to St Ann's Road, where he was challenged by a security guard before driving off.

Zakrocki then drove to an Indian restaurant in Alexandra Parade and parked outside. A staff member asked Zakrocki to move his vehicle. Zakrocki then got into an argument with the restaurant owner.

The owner ushered Zakrocki away from the restaurant, to which Zakrocki has replied: "Watch what I am going to do now."

He then got back into his van and drove at the owner, who was forced to jump out of the way. Zakrocki then drove into the shop front, reversed and drove into the shop again before reversing and driving off northbound onto Northolt Road, where he was stopped by police.

During interview, Zakrocki told officers that he had no recollection of what happened after finishing the two bottles of wine. He admitted that the knife and baton-torch were his.

Zakrocki told officers that he was not racist and did not wish to harm anyone.

The incident was investigated by officers from Harrow Community Safety Unit, with the support of officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command. He was charged on 25 June.

DC Georgina Acuna, the investigating officer from Harrow Community Safety Unit, said:

"Zakrocki deliberately armed himself with a knife and told both his family and officers that he intended to harm someone for their religious beliefs.

"This was a terrifying ordeal for the witnesses and victims. Zakrocki was almost three times over the drink-driving limit and it was through pure good-fortune that no one was injured during his rampage.

"I hope today’s sentencing gives Zakrocki’s victims some measure of comfort and closure."