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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Rapist who wore women's underwear during attack in public toilet loses appeal

Published 31/07/2014 | 15:18

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A MAN who attacked and raped a woman as she was drying her hands in a public toilet has lost an appeal against his conviction.

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Przemyslaw Jakubowski (39) was wearing women’s underwear when he grabbed the woman from behind, pulled her into a cubicle and subjected her to a 40 minute ordeal in which he raped and threatened to kill her.

Jakubowski, formerly of Egmont Court, Earls Street, Kanturk, Co Cork, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 12 counts including rape, threats to kill, assault causing harm, sexual assault and false imprisonment during the attack on the woman on the afternoon of March 9, 2010 in a rural town.

In June 2011 the Polish native, who has a previous conviction for attempted rape, was sentenced to 15 years by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy after being found guilty by a jury on eleven counts.

In his appeal, he claimed a search warrant used by gardai to search his home was invalid.

If that was so then items obtained by gardai during the search should not have been admitted as evidence during his trial.  Among the items seized were ladies' underwear including an item of aqua blue coloured underwear, yellow underwear and a peach slip which the victim had noticed protruding from underneath his outer clothes.

Forensic analysis determined the presence of a DNA profile on on those three items matched the profile of the victim, the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) heard.

Dismissing the appeal yesterday, a three-judge CCA said the trial court was right not to exclude the evidence obtained on foot of the search warrant.

The Superior Court Rules provide that failure to comply with the District Court Rules, under which the warrant was issued, "does not automatically invalidate the proceedings", the CCA said.

If the District Court rules stood alone, there "might be an interesting jurisprudential question" as to the impact of the failure to comply with the format of such rules.

But taken in combination with the Superior Court Rules, these were "sensible provisions"  and it seemed to the CCA that they applied here "with the effect that it cannot be said the search warrant was invalid".

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