'I don't understand how my DNA ended up on that item': Accused denies three Dublin attacks on women

By Isabel Hayes

A man accused of attacking three women in random attacks told gardaí he would never assault a woman.

On day 10 of the trial today at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, read out transcripts of a number of garda interviews with Slawomir Gierlowski (33) which took place at Clondalkin Garda Station in June 2016.

Mr Gierlowski, of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, denies attacking three women on dates in 2011, 2015 and 2016 at locations around Clondalkin in south Dublin. The women cannot be named for legal reasons.

In the first interview read out to the jury, which took place on June 1, 2016, a garda interviewer asked Mr Gierlowski if he could tell them anything about the false imprisonment which took place at Knockmeenagh Lane on May 16, 2016.

“No,” Mr Gierlowksi replied. “I'm fed up with this. I've said I know nothing about it.”

In the May 2016 incident, a man armed with a hunting knife attacked a woman as she was walking along Knockmeenagh Lane to the nearby Luas stop.

The woman has testified that she thought the man was going to slit her throat and she grabbed the blade to stop that happening, causing the knife to cut tendons in three fingers.

Mr Gierlowski was also brought through evidence that he was allegedly on Knockmeenagh Road on the morning of the day in question. When asked what he was doing, he said he was “just driving”.

“Did you see anybody in the lane?” the garda interviewer asked.

“No,” Mr Gierlowski replied. He said that he was in the van the whole time.

When asked about the presence of duct tape which was found in his van, Mr Gierlowksi said he sometimes needed it for work and it had been there a long time.

When asked if he would take part in a formal identification parade, Mr Gierlowski said he would.

In a further interview the following day, Mr Gierlowski was asked about a jacket found in his house which has been linked to the alleged crime. The trial has previously heard blood matching the victim's DNA was found on the jacket.

When asked why the jacket was there when the victim was falsely imprisoned at Knockmeenagh Lane, Mr Gierlowski said: “I'm not able to answer this question.”

He said he couldn't account for his alleged presence at Knockmeenagh Lane between 6.40am and 6.50am on the morning of the attack.

“I can't explain this because I can't remember if I was there or if I wasn't,” he said.

Mr Gierlowski was then questioned about an attack in Clondalkin on September 3, 2015, in which a man put a leather belt around a woman's neck and knocked her to the ground. The man then wrapped duct tape around the woman's face and hands and sexually assaulted her.

When asked, “Why did you do this to her?”, Mr Gierlowski replied, “Why are you saying I did this? I did not assault anyone.”

He said he didn't know how his blood was found on the belt, or how his semen was found on the woman's underwear.

“I have told you people that I would never assault a man or a woman,” he said.

When questioned about the third attack in Clondalkin on September 11, 2011, in which a woman was punched several times and sexually assaulted, Mr Gierlowski said it was “impossible” that his DNA had been found on that woman's underwear.

“You have to believe me that I would never hit any woman,” he said. “This is really sick. I don't understand how my DNA ended up on that item.”

He added that he had been with his girlfriend for eight years.

Mr Gierlowski has pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault. The trial continues before Judge Pauline Codd and a jury of 11 men.

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