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Man found guilty of attempted rape of woman in Dublin

Slawomir Gierlowski (34) is currently serving a lengthy prison term for random attacks on three women.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

A POLISH ROOFER who is currently serving a lengthy prison term for random attacks on three women has been convicted of trying to rape a woman almost nine years ago.

Slawomir Gierlowski (34) had denied being the man who attacked a fourth woman as she made her way home at around 3am on the night of 18 December 2010.

Semen found on the skirt of that victim was linked to Gierlowski through a DNA profile taken from him in June 2016 by gardaí in Clondalkin investigating a knifepoint attack on a woman the previous month.

This DNA profile had matched up with two other DNA profiles retrieved during investigations into separate sexual assaults on women in the Clondalkin area in 2015 and 2011. Gardaí from the Bridewell who were investigating the 2010 city centre attack then linked him to that attack.

Gierlowski of Galtymore Drive, Drimnagh, Dublin was convicted last year of carrying out the three attacks. Two of these involved a sexual assault on women walking home after a night out.

At his sentence hearing last May (2018), Judge Pauline Codd said those attacks, which involved the use of a leather belt, a hunting knife, duct tape and cable ties, were brutal and primal. She imposed an operative sentence of 18.5 years.

Earlier this month Gierlowski went on trial at the Central Criminal Court for the 2010 attack.

Yesterday the jury of three women and nine men returned unanimous guilty verdicts on charges of sexual assault, attempted rape and assault causing harm.

Gierlowski had denied all the charges. The verdicts came on day twelve of the trial and followed just under three hours of deliberations.

Justice Michael White thanked the jurors for their service in what he said was a difficult case. He remanded Gierlowski in continuing custody for a sentence hearing on 23 July next and ordered a victim impact report for that date.

The trial heard that the woman was making her way into the courtyard of her apartment block when her attacker followed her in and then pushed her to the ground.

He punched her repeatedly and then held a hand on her throat, choking her and stopping her from calling out.

He sexually assaulted her and tried to rape her but was not erect. He then began masturbating and ejaculated on her skirt before running off and climbing over the gate to the courtyard.

Gardaí were called and arrived at the scene within minutes. The woman told them her attacker had a pierced eyebrow and that when she began speaking Polish his demeanour changed and he became less brutal.

Last June Gierlowski’s lawyers had made applications to the court to order Google to temporarily expunge the man’s name from the Internet in advance of this trial. Refusing the application Justice Patrick McCarthy said the courts had to become accustomed to the modern world and “cope with” the fact that there is information online about cases.

He said he was quite satisfied that it was not necessary to remove the online material.

Noting the trial around the X case – a 1992 rape case at the centre of a high profile legal battle on the right to travel for an abortion – Justice McCarthy said: “If that case can be tried, any case can be tried”.

He said jurors will have to be told carefully that if a case rings any bell in their minds, they have to bring that to the attention of the court. He said that courts “have to become accustomed to the modern world” and the jurors must be trusted.

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Declan Brennan

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