The man who planted on bomb on a Wrocław bus last May was yesterday given a 20 year jail sentence.
The bomber, a 23-year-old former chemistry student known as Paweł. R, infamously left an explosive package on Wrocław's 145 bus last May. Luckily nobody was killed or seriously injured in the attack, largely thanks to the lightning-fast reaction of the bus driver and the fact the street was mostly empty.
Yesterday Paweł was handed a 20-year-sentence – 15 years for being guilty of a terrorist attack, plus another 5 years for trying to extort gold via a bomb threat.
For those unfamiliar with the case, the incident occured after police received an anonymous call warning them that bombs would go off unless 120kg of gold was dropped off at a specified location in Wrocław.
A few days later, when it became clear the police would not cooperate, Paweł left a homemade pot-bomb on bus 145. Luckily one of the passengers on the bus spotted something unusual and informed the driver. The bus driver then immediately stopped the bus and threw the package in front of the vehicle, after which there was a small explosion.
Reports in Gazeta Wyborcza state the driver remained cool during the situation but admitted he did not grasp just how serious an incident it was. His actions were praised by MPK, who gave him time off in order to recover from shock. He we was also given an award by the City Council.
Although many people quite rightly consider the driver a hero, an experienced member of Poland's anti-terrorist police has said the best course of action was to evacuate the bus. As it turned out however, the actions of the driver did save lives.
In his defence, Paweł.R denied that he planned to kill or hurt anybody. He and his lawyer argued that the only intention of the bomb was to "scare" and be "spectular but not dangerous". The defence also argued that Paweł. R's judgement was affected by the steroids he was taking for a medical condition, which caused him to become severely depressed.
Those arguments did not prevent the judge from handing Paweł.R a 20 year term. However it is thought that Paweł. R's legal team will seek to appeal the decision.