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Woman awoke in her bed to find burglar with his hand on her throat kissing her


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A woman has described how she awoke in her bed to find a burglar on top of her with his hand on her throat and kissing her.

The woman told the Central Criminal Court she believed she was going die as Ibrahim Elghynaoui (28) then strangled her during a struggle on her bedroom floor.

She fought back by pushing her thumbs into his eyes, kneeing him in the groin and biting him on the hand.

As she got up to to run for her bedroom door she said Elghynaoui sexually assaulted her.

She ran from the room and Elghynaoui escaped back out the ground floor window in her room. Elghynaoui admitted to gardaí that he was the burglar but denied sexually assaulting the woman.

Elghynaoui. of no fixed abode, had pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault of the woman and burglary at her home in Dublin city on July 17, 2019. He was convicted by a jury of both counts following a trial last December.

Elghynaoui pleaded guilty to the burglary of another man's nearby apartment earlier the same night and attempted burglary of another home on July 12, 2019.

Moroccan national Elghynaoui, who was homeless at the time of these offences, has 33 previous convictions across three jurisdictions.

His 22 previous convictions in Ireland include burglary, possession of a knife and failing to appear in court. He has been in custody since July 18, 2019.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott adjourned sentencing until March 1, 2021, to allow a psychiatric report be completed and Elghynaoui's status in the EU to be established.

The court will also hear a plea in mitigation on Elghynaoui's behalf on that date.

In her victim impact statement, the woman told the court that she lives in a state of “hyper-vigilance” and has a constant fear it will happen gain.

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Describing the effect of being attacked in the privacy of her own bedroom, she said: “To this day I do not feel safe. Nowhere feels safe.

“I am fighting hard to heal from the ordeal. I do not want to look back in anger or regret but know my life, or my life before the crime is gone, and I am still grieving for that life.

“This crime which probably only lasted a few minutes has left an irreparable mark on my life and life of my family,” she told Justice McDermott.

She said after the crime, the trial process was the second worst experience of her life. She described how she had been “in the dark” for 18 months not knowing if she would have to face her attacker in court.

“I was terrified of seeing him and putting a face to the nightmares,” she said.

She said talking about her body and intimate details during the trial in a room full of strangers had been very traumatic and an experience she was still recovering from.

Detective Sergeant Aine Grogan told Michael Delaney SC, prosecuting, that a man awoke from sleep to find an intruder in his apartment shortly after 3am on July 17, 2019. The intruder, Elghynaoui, left when challenged.

Gardai were alerted and it was discovered a Apple Mac laptop had been taken.

The court heard Elghynaoui then made his way to the woman's ground floor apartment, which she shared with two friends, each having separate bedrooms.

She had left her bedroom window slightly ajar but had believed it was locked in position. The trial heard it was possible to gain entry through the window.

During the trial the woman described how she awoke in her bed to the sensation of someone on top of her kissing her face.

She screamed, struggled and succeeded in jumping from the bed but Elghynaoui threw her to the floor and put his hands on her throat more forcefully.

The woman said she believed she was going to die and fought back by trying to get her thumbs into his eyes, kneeing him in the groin.

When he put his hand over her mouth to silence her, she bit down. She drew blood and bit off skin which she spat out.

Elghynaoui got off her and she prepared to run for the bedroom door. As she did Elghynaoui sexually assaulted her.

She managed to push him away and ran out the door. Her last view of him was as he ran in the opposite direction to the window. He escaped onto the street.

The woman raised the alarm with her flatmates and they hid in a courtyard in the apartment complex. They alerted gardaí and hailed a taxi using a mobile app.

The taxi came a few minutes later and gardaí, who had been investigating the earlier burglary, arrived at the same time. While en-route to the apartment the gardai had met Elghynaoui who gave his name, date of birth and moved on.

Elghynaoui was interviewed by gardaí and admitted stealing items from the woman's home but denied sexual assaulting her.

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