News Irish News

Monday 19 August 2019

Roofer serving prison term for random sex attacks on three women continues to maintain innocence, court hears

Slawomir Gierlowski (33) found guilty of attacking the women at locations around Clondalkin in south Dublin
Slawomir Gierlowski (33) found guilty of attacking the women at locations around Clondalkin in south Dublin

Brion Hoban and Declan Brennan

A Polish roofer currently serving a lengthy prison term for random attacks on three women continues to maintain his innocence, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Slawomir Gierlowski (34) went on trial earlier this year for a separate sex attack on a fourth victim on the night of December 18, 2010.

After hearing evidence Mr Justice Micheal White adjourned the case to tomorrow for sentence.

The court heard that the woman was making her way home at around 3am when Gierlowski assaulted and attempted to rape her inside the courtyard of her apartment block.

Semen found on the skirt of that victim was linked to Gierlowski through a DNA profile taken from him in June 2016 by gardaí in Clondalkin investigating a knife point attack on a woman the previous month.

This DNA profile had matched up with two other DNA profiles retrieved during investigations into separate sexual assaults on women in the Clondalkin area in 2015 and 2011. Gardai from the Bridewell who were investigating the 2010 city centre attack then linked him to that attack.

Gierlowski of Galtymore Drive, Drimnagh, Dublin was convicted last year of carrying out these three attacks. Two of these involved a sexual assault on women walking home after a night out.

At his sentence hearing in 2018, Judge Pauline Codd said those attacks, which involved the use of a leather belt, a hunting knife, duct tape and cable ties, were brutal and primal. She imposed an operative sentence of 18.5 years.

In May of this year Gierlowski went on trial at the Central Criminal Court for the 2010 attack.

The jury of three women and nine men returned unanimous guilty verdicts on charges of sexual assault, attempted rape and assault causing harm on day twelve of the trial after just under three hours of deliberations. Gierlowski had denied all the charges

Today the court heard that the victim in this case was told she could make a victim impact statement, but she declined on the grounds that she felt the court had already heard from her and she did not want to dwell on the case any longer.

Orla Crowe SC, defending, told the court that her client continues to maintain his innocence on all offences. She said that both the conviction and the sentence of the other matters are currently under appeal.

Ms Crowe said her client is “doing reasonably well” in custody. She said he is on enhanced status and works in the laundry.

Mr Justice Michael White asked Anne Rowland SC, prosecuting, how he is to impose a sentence with regard to the other sentences if they are under appeal. Ms Rowland asked for some time to take instructions on the matter.

Detective Garda Rory O'Connor told Ms Rowland that on the date in question the victim was returning to her home after a night with friends when she noticed there was a man close behind her as she walked through her gate.

Gierlowski followed her and pushed her to the ground just outside the entrance to her apartment. He immediately began to choke her and when she attempted to run away he punched her a number of times in the face.

The woman begged him to let her go while his hand remained on her throat. He pulled down her tights, tearing them in the process, pulled down her underwear and touched her vagina.

Gierlowski was on top of the woman and attempted to rape her. The woman whispered something like “let me go” in Polish and noticed that afterwards he seemed to be less aggressive.

The accused was masturbating throughout the attack and ejaculated on her skirt. After he fled the scene the victim was “completely destroyed”, went back to her apartment where she noticed her face was swollen and called her friend who later contacted gardaí on her behalf.

Gardaí obtained CCTV during their investigation which showed a man driving nearby on a moped before and after the attack. During the trial, the jury heard evidence from someone who worked with him at the time that Gierlowski talked about driving a scooter.

CCTV also showed the attacker passing by the woman, then immediately turning around and beginning to follow her.

The victim told gardaí she noticed that the man who attacked her had a piercing in his eyebrow. During the trial, the jury heard from another person who worked with Gierlowski at the time who said that the accused had an eyebrow piercing then.

Semen was found on the victim's skirt which was used to create a DNA profile which at the time did not match any other samples. Upon his arrest for another matter in June of 2016, a sample was taken from Gierlowski which generated a DNA profile that matched that generated from the semen.

Dt Gda O'Connor agreed with Ms Crowe that this offence predates the other matters for which her client is currently serving custodial sentences. He agreed that Gierlowski had no previous convictions prior this incident.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News