A POLISH national jailed for a savage knife attack on a young journalist was also responsible for a host of crimes in his native country.
In a case which is set to fuel debate over the ease with which violent convicted criminals can move around the EU, Leszek Jarosz was yesterday jailed for seven years for brutally stabbing young journalist Mairead O'Dwyer.
Jarosz (22), with an address at Weavers Square in Dublin, stabbed Ms O'Dwyer in the throat during a botched robbery in the early hours of May 19 last year -- less than three weeks after he arrived in Ireland.
The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard it was a miracle Ms O'Dwyer (28) survived as the kitchen knife used in the attack went in one side of her neck and out the other.
An Irish Independent investigation has uncovered shocking details about Jarosz's past in Poland.
A self-confessed abuser of alcohol and drugs, Jarosz came from Leba in northern Poland, a small town on the Baltic Sea, some 110km from Gdansk.
Checks on his background with police in the area revealed a chaotic lifestyle which led to him becoming involved in crime at an early age.
Local police told the Irish Independent he had been a petty criminal from the age of 14 and spent four years at a juvenile detention centre in Debrzno, west Poland, before graduating into serious crime.
Prior to coming to Ireland he spent two years in prison in Szczecinek for his part in a robbery during which he fractured a man's skull with an iron bar.
He also served prison sentences for criminal damage, theft, burglary and offences under legislation banning religious persecution.
Local police sources said that by the time he left for Dublin, where his sister was already living, they had begun to suspect him of membership of an organised crime gang involved in drug smuggling.
Jarosz's legal team admitted in court yesterday he had brought a quantity of drugs into the country from Poland.
The court heard that Clonmel-born Ms O'Dwyer had almost arrived at her house in Rialto, Dublin after walking home from a night out with colleagues when she was set upon by Jarosz.
After she screamed he sunk the knife into her neck and left her for dead.
She managed to raised the alarm by banging on neighbours' doors and opening her front door to set off the house alarm before collapsing into a pool of her own blood.
Her life was only saved by eight hours of emergency surgery, during which a vein had to be taken from her leg and implanted in her neck.
Inspector Walter Kilcullen, who led the investigation, said the operations had left her with permanent scars either side of her neck and on her leg.
The inspector said that after the stabbing Jarosz went home to change out of his bloodstained clothes before robbing two other men, Spaniard Jose Gonzalez and Croatian Luka Martinac, at knifepoint later that night.
A painstaking garda investigation would later lead to his arrest on the same day he began work as a cleaner at a Dublin hospital.
Jarosz later pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally or wrecklessly causing serious bodily harm and two counts of robbery.
He told gardai in interviews that he was drunk and high on cannabis and had "heard voices" in his head before the attack.
However, Judge Pat McCartan noted that Jarosz had never been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition.
The judge described the attack as "frenzied" and said Jarosz was "a person given to violence."
Judge McCartan imposed seven years for the attack on Ms O'Dwyer and three year sentences for the two counts of robbery, to run concurrently.
Jarosz, through an interpreter, apologised to Ms O'Dwyer, saying: "The situation was caused by the fact I was drinking too much vodka and was smoking hash. I would like to go back and change things. I wish it didn't happen.
"From the day of this situation, I have asked God to give health back to Mairead O'Dwyer."
Ms O'Dwyer declined to comment after the sentencing.