The sobering reality of being charged with a crime

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Legal Cheek’s Katie King reviews new hard-hitting documentary The Accused: An Inside Job?


A brand new documentary following the trial of man accused of snatching £26,000 from an elderly woman’s bank account will be airing on Channel 5 this month — and students with an interest in criminal law will love it.

The Accused: An Inside Job? comes just months after the TV channel broadcasted a documentary of a similar name (advert embedded below). The first programme, The Accused, followed the story of Kenzey, a defendant charged in January 2016 with allowing physical harm to her seven-week-old daughter. Her young baby suffered what 16 medical experts concluded was a deliberate assault, leaving her brain damaged and severely disabled.

This was, in my opinion, the best law-themed show of 2017 so far. Not least a true reflection of the tough decisions faced by criminal juries, the format of the show and the access it gave viewers was unprecedented.

To me, Kenzey radiated guilt from close to the start. Her trial by Twitter seemed to reach the same conclusion:

As did the jury. The 23-year-old defendant was sentenced to prison for three-and-a-half-years; her boyfriend, who committed the assault, got 18 years.

Though Channel 5’s latest offering lacks the solemnity of a child abuse case, it has the edge over its predecessor in its ‘keeping you guessing’ qualities. The new programme follows 32-year-old Łukasz — a Polish-born personal banker accused of lifting £26,000 from a 78-year-old whose bank account he was looking after. He was charged on two counts, one of fraud by abuse of position, and one of theft.

Like in The Accused, viewers follow the defendant in the months leading up to his trial, and the access is equally fantastic. Police interviews, footage of lawyers out on the road exploring the evidence, after-court reaction from the defendant and his legal team — there was little viewers didn’t see.

But did he do it? The evidence pointed to him, something his lawyers — GT Stewart partner Greg Stewart and 33 Bedford Row’s Ravinder Saimbhi — were keen to make clear to Łukasz pre-trial. However, the defendant protested his innocence throughout the show, alleging a conspiracy.

As a viewer, at times I was sold. Intelligent and charming, Łukasz is a man with two finance-related degrees and, probably rightly, he argued that he’d be “an idiot” to allow all lines of inquiry to lead so seamlessly to him. He added:

It feels like someone is trying to make you responsible for all this, when actually you’re not. There’s still time to investigate this and to find the right person to charge with all this, but nothing has been done. It just makes me feel like no one really bothers.

Whether you buy his defence or not, the devastating impact the charges had on Łukasz were plain to see. After internal banking investigators pointed the finger at Łukasz, the police froze his bank account, he lost his job and he lost his home.

This had a huge emotional impact on the defendant, who revolted at the thought of his peers hearing about the case: “I don’t want people to think I’m the bad guy. I wouldn’t like them to see me that way.” His family — still grieving the recent loss of Łukasz’s father — was hit hard too. His younger brother, Kacper, and stepmother were forced to relocate to Dundee, Scotland, where living costs are drastically cheaper. Łukasz’s FaceTime calls with Kacper, who seemed particularly cut-up over the whole thing, are sure to tug at your heartstrings. Łukasz said before the trial:

It makes me really, really worried about myself, about my family, about my future, about everything I’ve done till now. It’s just the end of my life at some points, I really thought ‘I’m not going to be able to go through this.’

But will the jurors have as much sympathy for Łukasz as I did? You’ll have to tune in to the show, which airs 9pm Monday 31 July on Channel 5, to find out.

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It sounds from the article that he may well actually be innocent, but hard to say without watching it. Unfortunately I am unlikely to as I don’t really have time to watch television due to my important job and very active social life.



He looks nice



But you have time to read and comment on this story-very strange.



‘Broadcasted’. No, no, no.

Other than that an interesting piece. It seems to be written with feeling.




The new single by MC Hammered



All the evidence points to him – which probably includes a trace of the money, but he didn’t do it!





He didn’t “snatch” or “lift” the money from the victim’s bank account: he stole it.



Are you sure he didn’t ‘bag’ it??



Remember, you’re a womble.


Sir Geffroy De Joinville

If there were any lawyers here, they might note the similarity of LC’s irrational fear of Rastafarians and the case before my confrere the late Sir Richard Rougier in 1999, of the Bengali man with the irrational fear of black men.

Sir Richard advised him to move to Scotland where there are less of them.


Jimbobs Blinds

I sell window blinds and those in the picture are worth at least £6,000 – Guilty.


Jimbobs Winter Coat Emporium

I sell winter coats and that coat is worth £5,000 – Guilty.



Perfect crime ,!!!!!
HE DONE IT ,,,,,,



Guilty as hell !!!! ,thought he wasn’t going to be caught,!!! Devious wicked man !!
Position of trust Guilty,



But why has no one investigated the whereabouts of the money,it just dissappearseems from an account without trace?



there are questions needed to be answered, but seems police are not bothered?! or simply they are uncapable of finding it out?


simon p

having watched this, too many questions arise. a big stand out comment — the cameras did not record for 6 months. hello people. 1, this is a bank, surely they must conform at least to iso27001 or higher and have a security based accreditation. follow the trail, why were they not recording, who has access, how often were the faults reported, why was the fix not less than a week. sorry people, look higher up the food chain. management has access and knows intimate details about their staff. the lawyer also seems to imply that someone going to this length would not go into a gay bar in order to carry out this stitch up. if they are going this far, whats a few beers in a gay bar gonna cost them. i cant see how this kid got a fair trial as it would seem these people had blinkers on when looking for evidence, looking to convict with no direction.



Exactly where is the MONEY????
Something not adding up here !!!
Definitely believe he’s GUILTY!!
,he knows the banking system inside out !!!!!


David B

I think he was a very good liar. He did not provide a shred of evidence if he thought someone else did it. It didn’t seem to be picked up in the program that during the ‘lost’ interview tape which then showed up, he was told that there was no money in a third account of his, but Lucaz said the last time he checked there should have been 30 k in there: He didn’t bat an eye lid.


Andy Borland

Astonishing to find out there is no evidence of where the £26k ended up.

The prosecution didn’t know and then, when they did find out they didn’t know, didn’t care. Fair enough I suppose.

However, the defence inexplicably didn’t seem to investigate this either, nor come up with any evidence of investigating fellow employees of Lucasz who, apart from their client, may have been responsible.

To me the defence relied solely on prosecution evidence and didn’t appear to uncover any of their own to help convince a jury of reasonable doubt.

I believed Lucasz from the outset, but the evidence proved me and him wrong.

I’m not guilty, but he clearly was.



The issue of where the money ended up is HUUUUGE, and it clearly underlines the problem of being accused of a crime…the PROSECUTION are the ones that have access to the information and the investigative resources. If they only investigate enough to prove guilt, but not get to the bottom of the case, there’s very little that the defence can actually do. Do you think that Santander are going to be falling over themselves to help his defence demonstrate that they did a crappy job of investigating?!

And even more worrying is the advice (which, unfortunately I’m sure is true!) that you shouldn’t use the idea of a CONSPIRACY as your defence because it just looks desperate! Clearly, all any Crook needs to do to get away with something is to make someone ELSE look guilty. Because, after all, who does that?!



Well after watching the programme very interesting I must say. I would really like to appeal this case on the grounds where is the money , why did the police not question all the Santander team, where is the CCTV . There are more questions than answers. His her and the truth .


Davey Boy

I thought he was innocent all the way through because I reckoned the show was going to give us a twist at the end.

I really feel sorry for the guy – but the evidence was so against him.

Part of me feels he is innocent but maybe he just thought he was too clever to be caught!



I’m not anything like 100% convinced he was guilty. I did jury service on a 7 week fraud case once and the two defendants were found guilty, rightly in my view, but Lucasz just didn’t come across as guilty to me. Where did that money go? That’s the crucial question. Was he set up by someone he had a relationship with that knew him from the gay bar he frequented? Was Lucasz protecting that person? Was he in fear of that person? I think he knows more than he admitted to, but guilty? I don’t think so.


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