Court lifts order on naming Clondalkin attacker

By Declan Brennan

A COURT has lifted an order which prevented the media naming a father-of-two jailed last month for carrying out random attacks on women.

Polish roofer Slawomir Gierlowski (34) was convicted last March of attacking three women in 2011, 2015 and 2016 at locations around Clondalkin in south Dublin. Two of the attacks involved a sexual assault and took place late at night as the women walked home after a night out.

Knockmeenagh lane site 1 1

Knockmeenagh Lane, Clondalkin 

The last attack was carried out in broad daylight as the victim, Ruth Maxwell, was walking to the Luas to go to work when Gierlowski put a hunting knife to her throat.

He had pleaded not guilty to nine charges and maintains his innocence, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard. At his sentence hearing in May, Judge Pauline Codd said the attacks, which involved the use of a leather belt, a hunting knife, duct tape and cable ties, were brutal and primal.

She imposed consecutive sentences of eight years, nine and a half years and five years. She suspended the final four years on condition that he successfully complete sex offender programmes in custody as directed by the Probation Service.

At that hearing lawyers for Gierlowski, of Galtymore Drive, Drimnagh, applied for a court order to prevent his name being published in relation to the sentence hearing. His name was published throughout the trial in March.

His lawyers argued that publishing his name would prejudice another matter due before the courts this month (June). Last week this matter was adjourned to next year on the basis of the pre-trial publicity arising from contemporaneous reporting of the trial in March.

On Monday the media asked Judge Codd to revisit the restriction imposed last month. After hearing the defence and the DPP had no objections, Judge Codd lifted the order.

Last week a High Court judge, Justice Patrick McCarthy, questioned the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court to impose reporting restrictions in the case in the circumstances in which they had been placed.

He made the remarks during an application by lawyers for Gierlowski to have Google remove references to publicity around the case.

Mr Justice McCarthy refused the application and said that the courts have to face the “modern reality” of dealing with cases where there may be a background of information online.

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