Man who tried setting fire to Scottish Parliament building is jailed for embezzlement

Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Pic: Ian Georgeson

A man who was jailed for trying to set fire to the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood has now been sentenced to five months in prison for embezzlement.

Piotr Swiatek, 32, pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today to embezzling “a quantity of money” from his employers, Crystal S & Co. Ltd, of Bankhead Drive in Edinburgh, on December 22, 2016.

Sheriff Adrian Cottam sentenced Swiateck to five months in jail.

Procurator Fiscal depute, Claire Kennedy, told Sheriff Cottam that Swiatek had been a delivery driver for the company.

Ms Kennedy said Swiatek had done his rounds and been paid by the customers but did not pass the money on to his employers and did not return to work. The sum taken, she said, was about £1000.

Defence solicitor Caroline Boyd said her client, a Polish national, had been in Scotland for nine years. He had a partner and two-year old son and understood he would be deported at the end of his sentence.

Although working for the company, she said, her client had no contract, was not properly paid and was suffering from depression at the time.

Sentencing Swiatek, Sheriff Cottam told him that his hands were tied given the nature of the offence, which was different from a previous conviction for which he was serving 30 months.

In March this year, Swiatek, who had been drinking heavily for several days, travelled to Edinburgh by train from his home in Livingston. A police officer on duty at the Parliament saw him spraying an accelerant on the windows and bamboo poles.

When challenged, Swiatek produced a large knife and held it above his head before the officer wrestled him to the ground.

Swaitek was found to have another knife in his possession. He was later charged with attempted fire-raising, possession of the knife and causing fear and alarm.

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