Man found guilty of sex attacks on two women over four year period

By Declan Brennan

A jury has convicted a Polish roofer of carrying out random sex attacks on two women in a four year period.

Slawomir Gierlowski (33) denied attacking the women in 2011 and 2015 at locations around Clondalkin in south Dublin.

A jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court took a little over four hours to reach unanimous guilty verdicts on six counts of sexual assault, assault and false imprisonment of the two women.

The jury of 11 men will continue its deliberations on three further charges arising out of a third attack on a woman in 2016 tomorrow morning.

Mr Gierlowski of Galtymore Rd., Drimnagh, Dublin denies carrying out this attack.

He has pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a woman on September 11, 2011 and to false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a second woman on September 3, 2015.

He has further pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning and assaulting a woman and having a hunting knife with intent to intimidate on May 16, 2016.

This third attack took place on Knockmeenagh Lane, Clondalkin, Dublin, not far from the other two attacks and from a house occupied by the family of Mr Gierlowski's partner.

The court heard that in all three attacks a man came up from behind the women and attacked them around their neck area.

In the 2011 and 2015 incidents, the attacker dragged the women to the ground and sexually assaulted them.

The third attack was carried out in broad daylight on the morning of May 16, 2016. The victim was walking along Knockmeenagh Lane to the nearby Luas stop when a man armed with a hunting knife put his arm around her neck and began to pull her backwards.

This woman told the court 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 of her fingers.

She managed to get out from under the knife and began screaming and her attacker ran off.

The first attack took place late at night on September 11, 2011 when a man attacked a young woman walking home from a night out, dragging her to the ground and sexually assaulting her.

She managed to get away from him but he caught her and began punching her repeatedly around the face.

On September 3, 2015 a woman was also walking home late at night when a man came up behind her and put a leather belt around her neck and began pulling backwards. He pulled her to the ground and then wrapped duct tape around her face and hands before sexually assaulted her.

Mr Gierlowski was identified as a suspect after detectives tracked a white VW Crafter van spotted near the scene of the 2016 attack back to Galtymore road, where Mr Gierlowski lives. Using a wild card search of a partial registration provided by neighbours who had seen the van, detectives were able to identify the van as being one registered to Mr Gierlowski.

After his arrest gardaí took a DNA sample from him and found it matched various blood, semen samples taken from the 2011 and 2015 crime scenes. The jury also heard that blood found on a jacket taken from his home was the blood of the 2016 victim.

Orla Crowe SC, defending, told the jury that DNA evidence could not prove when semen or blood was placed where it was found.

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