Thursday 17 January 2019

Woman felt knife cut through her fingers during alleged Luas stop attack, court told

Accused Slawomir Gierlowski
Accused Slawomir Gierlowski

Declan Brennan

A witness has told the trial of a man accused of carrying out random attacks on women that she felt a knife cutting through her fingers as she pulled it away from her throat.

Slawomir Gierlowski (33) of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin denies attacking the three women on dates in 2011, 2015 and 2016 at locations around Clondalkin, Co. Dublin.

On day four of his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, a woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, testified that on the morning of May 16, 2016 she was attacked as she walked to a Luas stop.

She said she felt two arms coming around her from behind. She said that one hand held a hunting knife in the right hand and the other held a dirty grey rag.

The woman told the court that the knife was held right up to her right cheek. She was holding her handbag with her left hand and was using her left elbow to stop the cloth coming up to her face.

She told the jury that her right side was completely restricted. The man pulled her backwards and moved the knife down to her throat, she said. She thought the knife was going to slit her throat so she dropped her bag and grabbed the knife with her free hand.

“I pulled it as hard as I could, away from me. I pulled my head down with it and I just started screaming. I felt the blade go through my fingers,” she said.

The witness  said she also turned around at this point and the man ran off. She said she stood for a moment, screaming before running off in the opposite direction. She told the jury that her attacker was tanned and looked “slightly eastern European”.

A number of other witnesses described seeing the woman in a distressed state near the road and stopping to help her. One man said her left hand “was oozing blood... like a tap”.

The woman was taken to hospital and treated for severed tendons in three of her fingers. She said she still cannot bend her fingers fully.

Mr Gierlowski denies falsely imprisoning and assaulting the woman in 2016. He also denies having a hunting knife with intent to intimidate on the same occasion.

He also denies the false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a second woman on September 3, 2015. Finally he denies the false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a third woman on September 11, 2011.

The trial continues before Judge Pauline Codd and a jury of 11 men.

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