Ipswich: Polish community say ‘Don’t tar us all with the same brush’ after brothel sentencing
A LEADING figure in the town’s Polish community today said they did not want their standing tainted by a minority of criminals from their homeland.
His words came after the sentencing of four Polish nationals who were convicted of assisting in the management of four brothels in Ipswich, along with others in Colchester and Norwich.
Andrew Soltysik, who lives near Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, spoke on behalf of the hard-working families and individuals who have come to England to make a better lives for themselves.
Mr Soltysik said many would feel their reputations have been smeared by a minority of criminals among their countrymen and women.
He also drew parallels with the Polish men and women who risked their lives in the Second World War to defend Britain and drive the Nazis out of their homeland.
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Many subsequently sought refuge in the UK to avoid returning to a communist country.
Mr Soltysik, who was born in Derbyshire and whose father was a Captain in the Polish Army, said: “Only a Pole would know how it felt to be accepted by Britain. And it still means a great deal to them.
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“In the last seven years thousands of Poles and eastern Europeans have arrived to seek a better life, fortune, and opportunities.
“In nearly all cases it’s been good for them, and good for the UK which again has accepted them.
“However, in modern times, there is always an element who strive to ruin all the hard work and efforts made by the genuine majority.
“These ‘bad apples’ made up of a few Polish nationals are an awful example to the community and taint the scene in Ipswich and further afield.
“Winston Churchill once famously referred to those who fought in the Battle of Britain, which included Polish pilots, saying ‘Never was so much owed by so many to so few’. Perhaps he would now say: ‘Never was so much built up only to be now let down by so few’.
“These embarrassing ‘few’ should now be sent back to their homeland to contemplate their crimes in a local prison, and not spoil the scene for those striving to make a living here.”
Przemyslaw Wegrzynowski, of London Road, Ipswich, was among those spared jail for his part in the brothel conspiracy.
Sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for 12 months, and banned from Ipswich, Norwich and Colchester for a year, the 41-year-old was used as a taxi driver by people higher up in the crime organisation, ferrying Polish sex workers between brothels and to the airport.
He also acted as the link-man for the tenancy of brothels, negotiating the leases for the properties used.
In Ipswich brothels were found in Gladstone Road, Foxhall Road, London Road and Firmin Close.
Wegryzynowski, who arrived in England around seven years ago, was well known in the Polish community, starting up the town’s first modern-day Polish shop opposite the Regent in St Helen’s Street. The shop was subsequently sold on and is now under new ownership.
Andrew Soltysik said when it became apparent Wegryznowski was involved in a prostitution ring, he was shunned by the Polish community.
Mr Soltysik said: “He was treated as an outcast. He was giving the Polish community a bad name.”
Among the others sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court was Eliza Bryll, 24, of Wells Crescent, Chelmsford, Jagoda Kukielka, 26, of Notley Road, Braintree, and Magdalena Pacula, 22, formerly of Stroud, but now of London, who were also convicted of conspiring to assist in the running of brothels.
Bryll was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.
Kukielka and Pacula were each given 100 hours unpaid work as part of their 12-month community orders.