A former neighbour who kidnapped a bank worker's dog from her back garden in Bath in revenge for her bank refusing him a loan has been jailed. Gabriel Radzikowski, 29, took Sara Lilly's Yorkshire terrier after she was unable to help him secure a bank loan. He held the 15-year-old dog, Bilbo Baggins, for a ransom of £500 before leaving him in a frozen pond last December.
Polish national Radzikowski had hoped Ms Lilly, a local bank director for Lloyds TSB, could use her position to get him a loan. After receiving ransom phone calls from Radzikowski Ms Lilly contacted the police. Bilbo was found bobbing in the water by passerby, Patricia Bently, who had heard whimpering from a frozen pond. Following a trial at Bristol Crown Court Radzikowski, who had denied any involvement in the crimes, was found guilty of blackmail and intimidation.
Sentencing Radzikowski Judge Michael Longman told the court that Radzikowski had kidnapped Ms Lilly's dog and had blackmailed her. Eventually the dog was recovered from an icy pond, he said. Radzikowski had previously lived in the flat above Ms Lilly, but had moved to Yate. A few months later he had returned to Bath, homeless and looking for somewhere to stay.
He was taken in by a local Polish couple, Robert and Maria Jurczak, while he looked for a flat. During the police investigation both Mr and Mrs Jurczak confirmed they had seen Radzikowski with Bilbo. Radzikowski showed little emotion when he was handed 12 months' imprisonment for the count of blackmail and 12 months for intimidation, to run consecutively. The court heard Radzikowski wanted to return to Poland following his sentence.