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Businessman let off jail for attack ... but he must pay £4,700
Updated 11:00am Thursday 10th July 2014 in News
A WEALTHY businessman who beat up two bar workers has avoided jail after agreeing to pay £4,700 compenstation.
Wojciech Zawodny, who earns £7,000 a week as a survelliance expert in Dubai, was on a drinking binge with his cousin in Colchester town centre when trouble erupted.
Simon Peacey, bar manager at Fashion Cafe, in Queen Street, refused to serve him because he was too drunk and asked him to leave.
Zawodny, 32, attacked Mr Peacey, throwing him against the bar and on to the floor. He sustained a broken hand.
When barmaid Laura Harris tried to intervene, Zawodny punched her in the chest.
Security staff from a nearby bar were called and ejected Zawodny, who was arrested shortly after the incident at 11.30pm on Sunday.
Zawodny admitted one count of grievous bodily harm and one charge of common assault when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Magistrates said the assault was so serious, it crossed the custody threshold.
They considered sending Zawodny to Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing.
During their deliberations, James O’Toole, representing Zawodny, said his client earns £7,000 week as a director in Dubai and wanted to be dealt with quickly so he could return to work in Dubai.
He said: “He would be in a better position than most to pay substantial compensation.”
Zawodny was ordered to pay Mr Peacey £4,400 and Miss Harris £300. He was also given a sixmonth prison sentence, suspended for a year.
Mr O’Toole said Zawodny was disgusted, appalled and ashamed by his behaviour.
It is understood magistrates dealt with Zawodny’s offence as the least serious type of grievous bodily harm.
If they had treated it as a more serious category, he almost certainly would have been jailed.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Peacey, 49, from Colchester, said the magistrates' decision has sent out the wrong message.
He added: "“The way I look at it, if he didn’t have all that money, what would have happened?
“I don’t think that is the way the case should have been dealt with.”
He added: “Everyone is saying ‘it’s good you’ve got the money’ but if he’s done this, he could go round any bar and do that.
“Does this mean if he has got money, he will be able to get away with it?
“It’s our job not to serve people who are too drunk - I asked him nicely and he just picked me up.”
Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell added a person's income should not determine the outcome of a court case.
He said: "The law is there to provide equality for all who come before the courts and the size of somebody's wallet should not be a consideration by the magistrates as to whether they deal with that case at the local court or send the person to crown court to be sentenced.
"This is not Monopoly where you get a 'Get out of jail' card from the community chest.”
Sir Bob has pledged to bring The Gazette’s story to the attention Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.
A spokesman for Digital Barriers Middle East, where Zawodny works as a director, said: “I can confirm that we have only become aware of the incident very recently and are currently undertaking our own enquiries into the circumstances.”
A Sentencing Council spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on individual cases.
"The magistrates in the case, who were in possession of the full facts of the case, decided their sentencing powers were sufficient and retained jurisdiction.
"The courts are required by statute to consider whether to make a compensation order in every case."