Woman tells court of waking in bed to find burglar’s hand on her throat

‘To this day I do not feel safe. Nowhere feels safe,’ sexual assault victim says after man convicted

The woman told the Central Criminal Court she believed she was going die as Ibrahim Elghynaoui (28) then strangled her

A woman has described how she awoke in her bed to find a burglar on top of her with his hand on her throat and kissing her.

The woman told the Central Criminal Court she believed she was going die as Ibrahim Elghynaoui (28) then strangled her during a struggle on her bedroom floor. She fought back by pushing her thumbs into his eyes, kneeing him in the groin and biting him on the hand.

As she got up to to run for her bedroom door she said Elghynaoui put his fingers quite forcefully into her vagina. She described this as having the force of an open-handed blow.

She ran from the room and Elghynaoui escaped back out the ground floor window in her room. Elghynaoui admitted to gardai that he was the burglar but denied sexually assaulting the woman.


Elghynaoui, of no fixed abode, had pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault of the woman and burglary at her home in Dublin city on July 17th, 2019. He was convicted by a jury of both counts following a trial last December.

Elghynaoui pleaded guilty to the burglary of another man’s nearby apartment earlier the same night and attempted burglary of another home on July 12th, 2019.

Moroccan national Elghynaoui, who was homeless at the time of these offences, has 33 previous convictions across three jurisdictions. His 22 previous convictions in Ireland include burglary, possession of a knife and failing to appear in court. He has been in custody since July 18, 2019.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott adjourned sentencing until March 1st, 2021 to allow a psychiatric report be completed and Elghynaoui’s status in the EU to be established.

The court will also hear a plea in mitigation on Elghynaoui’s behalf on that date.

In her victim impact statement, the woman told the court that she lives in a state of “hyper-vigilance” and has a constant fear it will happen gain.

Describing the effect of being attacked in the privacy of her own bedroom, she said: “To this day I do not feel safe. Nowhere feels safe.”

“I am fighting hard to heal from the ordeal. I do not want to look back in anger or regret but know my life, or my life before the crime is gone, and I am still grieving for that life.”

“This crime which probably only lasted a few minutes has left an irreparable mark on my life and life of my family,” she told Justice McDermott.

She said after the crime, the trial process was the second worst experience of her life. She described how she had been “in the dark” for 18 months not knowing if she would have to face her attacker in court. “I was terrified of seeing him and putting a face to the nightmares,” she said.

She said talking about her body and intimate details during the trial in a room full of strangers had been very traumatic and an experience she was still recovering from.