A jury has convicted a roofer of carrying out three random and violent attacks on women in Dublin in a five year period.
Slawomir Gierlowski (33) of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh had 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 also denied falsely imprisoning and assaulting a third woman and having a hunting knife with intent to intimidate on May 16, 2016.
This third attack took place on Knockmeenagh Lane, Clondalkin, not far from the other two attacks and from a house occupied by the family of Gierlowski’s partner. The women cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Shortly after 11am, the jury of eleven men found Gierlowski guilty of carrying out the 2016 attack. The jury had deliberated for a little under five hours in total, having returned guilty verdicts relating to the earlier offences on Thursday afternoon.
All verdicts were unanimous ones. Judge Pauline Codd thanked the jurors for their care in deliberating.
She also praised the “assiduous” work carried out by the gardai investigating the three crimes. She said the difficult cases were handled with sensitivity.
The judge commended the three complainants for the strength and courage showed by each of them in giving evidence during the trial.
Gierlowski, a Polish national who has lived and worked in Ireland since 2008, sat impassively as the verdicts were delivered.
He has been in custody since his arrest in June 2016 as a suspect for the attack the previous month.
Judge Codd said she will set a future sentence date shortly.
The first attack took place late at night on September 11, 2011.
Gierlowski attacked a 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 Gierlowski 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 assaulting her.
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 Gierlowski, 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 Gierlowski 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 Gierlowski ran off.
Gierlowski was identified after detectives used CCTV cameras to track a white VW Crafter van spotted near the scene of the 2016 attack back to Galtymore Road, where Gierlowski lives.
In addition detectives used a wild card search of a partial registration provided by neighbours had seen the van parked in the area to identify the van as one registered to Gierlowski.
After his arrest, gardai took a DNA sample from Gierlowski and found it matched various blood and semen samples taken from the two earlier crime scenes.
Tests on blood traces on a jacket seized by gardai from Gierlowski’s bedroom in June 2016 found it was the third victim’s blood.