Wednesday 14 November 2018

Woman tells jury she thought she going to die during alleged sexual assault

Slawomir Gierlowski pleaded not guilty to all nine charges between 2011 and 2016
Slawomir Gierlowski pleaded not guilty to all nine charges between 2011 and 2016

Declan Brennan

A woman has told the trial of a man accused of carrying out three attacks on random women that she thought she was going to die during one attack.

Slawomir Gierlowski (33) of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin is charged with falsely imprisoning and assaulting a woman in September 2016 at a location near Naas Rd., Clondalkin, Dublin. He is also charged with unlawfully having a hunting knife with intent to intimidate on the same occasion.

Mr Gierlowski is also charged with false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a second woman at another location in Clondalkin on September 3, 2015.

Finally he is charged with false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a third woman at this same location on September 11, 2011.

Mr Gierlowski has pleaded not guilty to all nine charges. A jury of 12 men was sworn for the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

One of these jurors was excused today when he said he recognised a witness in the trial.

The alleged victim of the 2015 attack told the jury that she was walking home from a night out in the city centre when she felt a sudden force around her neck. She said that it felt like a thick leather belt and it had come around her chin and upper neck before she had time to grab it.

She lost her balance and ended up on the ground. She felt her legs being restricted and the man kept putting his hand over her mouth and her nose to prevent her from screaming.

She said that after several screams the man told her: "shut up or I’ll kill you”. She said his voice was Eastern European sounding and was quite vicious and angry.

She felt something being wrapped around her head and face and she guessed from the sound that it was tape. She became upset in court as she described how it became difficult for her to breathe said she became light headed.

“I thought I was dying. I had gone quite light headed, like I was passing out. I felt it was for the best. I didn’t know what was going to happen,” she said.

She said the man turned her on to her stomach and took her hands behind her back and restricted them. He then touched her genitalia.

The attack ended when the owners of a nearby house called gardai and the man ran off.

The trial continues before Judge Pauline Codd.

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