Gardaí linked van near scene of sex attack to accused, trial told

Slawomir Gierlowski (33) denies assaults on three women in Clondalkin area of Dublin

The trial of a man accused of carrying out random assaults on women has heard gardaí linked a van parked near the scene of one attack to the accused.

Slawomir Gierlowski (33) of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin denies attacking three women on dates in 2011, 2015 and 2016 at locations around Clondalkin, Co Dublin.

Last week, a woman who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that on the morning of May 16th, 2016 she was attacked on her way to a Luas train station.

On day five of the trial on Monday, a number of residents living near the scene of the attack told the jury they remembered seeing a large white van parked near the area.

Local resident Michelle McCabe said that on April 26th, 2016, she saw a large white van parked in the area. She said she lives in a quiet area where everybody knows each other and she noticed the van.

She took a note of the van’s registration on her mobile phone and said it began with 07-D.

She said a few weeks later, on May 15th, she was out walking with her husband when she saw what she thought was the same van. She checked the registration number of this van and saw it began with 08-D.

Her husband testified that the van number plate may also have had the numbers “2” and “0” in it.

Mrs McCabe said she and her husband continued walking on before meeting two men coming in the opposite direction. She said she said hello but they did not answer.

She had never seen the men before, she said, and they were notlocal. She described one man as quite muscular and aged in his 30s. She said he was not Irish and was possibly “Slavic”.

The court heard that one of the residents had CCTV cameras outside their home and gardai pulled still images of a white van from this footage.

Garda Paul Dolan testified that he carried out a wildcard search of the Pulse Garda computer system and identified a white VW Crafter van with a registration beginning 08-D-20729.

The court heard a van with this registration was registered to Mr Gierlowski.

Mr Gierlowski denies falsely imprisoning and assaulting the woman in 2016. He also denies having a hunting knife with intent to intimidate on the same occasion.

He also denies the false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a second woman on September 3rd, 2015.

He further denies the false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of a third woman on September 11th, 2011.

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