Sexual assault suspect ‘zig-zagged to avoid street lighting’

Garda gives evidence in the trial of a man accused of attacks on three women

A garda has described how a suspect in a late night sexual assault ‘zig-zagged’ to avoid street lighting while he ran away from the scene. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

A garda has described how a suspect in a late night sexual assault ‘zig-zagged’ to avoid street lighting while he ran away from the scene. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

 

A garda has described how a suspect in a late night sexual assault “zig-zagged” to avoid street lighting while he ran away from the scene.

Garda Niall Kenny was giving evidence in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial of Slawomir Gierlowski (33), who is charged with carrying out attacks on three women over a five-year period.

One of the attacks took place in Clondalkin, Dublin, on September 3rd, 2015. Mr Kenny told the jury that he was in a patrol car when he received details over the Garda radio of an alleged incident.

The court heard the car arrived at the scene within minutes and Mr Kenny and Garda Brian Campbell got out. Mr Campbell said he heard a muffled scream coming from behind them.

He ran to the source of the sound and saw a woman on her knees on the ground with black duct tape all over her face and neck and her hands behind her back.

Mr Kenny said that he noticed a man jumping up from behind a vehicle parked about 50m farther down the road. He said this man started running and he ran after him.

He shouted “gardaí, stop” at the man but the suspect kept running. He called for general assistance and uniformed and plain-clothes units arrived at the scene.

The assistance of the air support unit was unavailable because of weather conditions. Mr Kenny said the area had about “50 per cent” street lighting, which was partially covered by trees.

He said that as the suspect ran he crossed the road in “zig-zags” to avoid the street lights. Mr Kenny said he followed the man but lost sight of him.

Mr Gierlowski, of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, is charged with falsely imprisoning and assaulting a woman in September 2016 at a location near Naas Road, Clondalkin. He is also charged with unlawfully having a hunting knife with intent to intimidate on the same occasion.

Mr Gierlowski is further charged with false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a second woman at another location in Clondalkin on September 3rd, 2015. He is also charged with false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a third woman at this same location on September 11th, 2011.

The trial continues before Judge Pauline Codd and a jury of 11 men.