Church vandal ‘thought he was a superstar DJ’

Michal Zabuski leaving court after his conviction for trashing a sacred church while high on drink and drugs.
Michal Zabuski leaving court after his conviction for trashing a sacred church while high on drink and drugs.
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A vandal trashed a Malton church after “voices” convinced him that he was a superstar DJ who needed to spin his records inside the place of worship.

Michal Zabuski left a bloody trail as he shattered glass in the search for his DJ equipment inside St Michael’s.

I did this, this is my city

Michal Zubuski

But the only trance the wannabe DJ experience that night was the one brought on by a cocktail of drink and drugs.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, the 38-year-old didn’t find his records – but instead found police.

Covered in cuts, he walked straight into the path of officers looking for him, boasting “I did this, this is my city”.

He has now been slapped with the near-£4,000 clean-up bill after pleading guilty to a charge of criminal damage at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

But despite the community being “appalled” by the crime, the Rev Peter Robinson said he forgives Zabuski.

“My reaction is that the whole thing is just very sad,” said Rev Robinson, from St Michael’s.

“For someone to do this there’s clearly issues.”

The court heard that Zabuski had been to see professionals about his mental health in the wake of the incident, which Zabuski claimed had been sparked by a drink and drug cocktail.

He downed several beers and smoked cannabis for the first time in 20 years.

Through a Polish translator, he claimed the spliff may have been laced with something else as it caused “hallucinations”.

The substances prompted the voices he claims haunt his head to convince him he was a “top class DJ” who should play his music inside the church, which typically stages more traditional concerts involving its choir.

He eventually gained access by kicking in a window, damaging “numerous” items as he searched for his DJ equipment.

“He caused a lot of trouble which involved a lot of different work – everything from plumbers to electricians were needed,” said Rev Robinson.

St Michael’s prized organ was even interfered with in Zabuski’s spree, which continued after the voices convinced him a hidden camera was spying on him.

Zabuski struck overnight between June 19 and June 20, with damage discovered by church warden Patricia Atkinson the next morning.

While nothing was stolen, she called police after finding blood-stained cabinets with various items scattered across the floor.

Besides getting help with his mental health, he told the court he was curbing his boozing.

Described as a man of previous good character, he added: “Sorry, I didn’t mean to do it – I have never done anything like this in my life.”

After further fears were raised over his mental health, the probation service admitted to “concerns” over how he would cope if jailed.

But the bench took a dim view of his actions, ordering him to pay the £3,897 repair bill along with a £150 court charge.

And sentencing him to 150 hours of unpaid work, magistrates told him: “Your actions caused a lot of damage to a 
sacred building.”

While praising his congregation for “pulling together” in the aftermath of the incident, Rev Robinson said he is hoping the culprit seeks help.

“The key thing is to ensure he gets into the right state of mind so that he doesn’t do this again. The main message is to get all the help you can and live the best life you can.”