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Saturday 25 January 2020

Man who stalked female student attacked roommate with hammer

Lewandowski and Eve McDowell were students at NUI Galway
Lewandowski and Eve McDowell were students at NUI Galway

A young man who stalked a fellow student for weeks before breaking into her apartment and attacking her roommate with a claw hammer has been refused bail.

Engineering student Igor Lewandowski (20), of Dun Aras, Bishop O'Donnell Road, Galway city, appeared before Judge Rory McCabe at Galway Circuit Court yesterday in what was his fifth failed bail application.

The court heard the "highly intelligent" student - who achieved 565 points in his Leaving Cert - had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment and aggravated burglary arising from an incident at Dun na Coiribe student accommodation last May 25.

Objecting to bail, Det Bernard McLoughlin outlined the extreme lengths Lewandowski went to to monitor his victim, Ms Eve McDowell, in the weeks before breaking into her apartment and attacking her housemate Alison Buiche with a claw hammer.

Infatuated

Det McLoughlin said Lewandowski, who made detailed admissions to gardai during questioning, became infatuated with Ms McDowell after they encountered one another on campus at NUIG.

Early last May, he began besetting Ms McDowell's workplace, a city centre shop, and would then follow her during her lunch breaks.

On one particular day, he followed her from work to a nearby pub, and later that night to McDonald's and then back to her apartment in Corrib Village student accommodation.

The court heard Lewandow- ski admitted to gardai that he pinpointed a vantage point in Dun na Coiribe where he was able to monitor the entrance to Ms McDowell's apartment block, and both pathways leading into and out of the estate.

He told investigating gardai he was also aware there was no back exit at the property.

Last May 25, gardai were alerted to an attack on a female at Dun na Coiribe.

The court heard Lewandow- ski, armed with a claw hammer, used a scaffolding pole to mount himself up to the first floor of the building and into Ms McDowell's apartment through an open kitchen window.

On entering the property, Lewandowski encountered Ms McDowell's flatmate Alison Buiche, a nursing student, who had been sleeping on the couch in the living room.

Knife

As Ms Buiche attempted to rise from the couch, she was struck a number of times with a claw hammer by Lewandowski.

Following his attack on Ms Buiche, Lewandowski escaped from the apartment by jumping from the balcony.

During a subsequent search of the area, gardai found a knife discarded outside.

Shortly after the incident, gardai searching for Lewan- dowski found him crawling on Dike Road.

Lewandowski claimed he had only wished to talk to Ms McDowell and denied he had been armed with a knife.

Judge McCabe, citing the seriousness of the offences, refused bail and remanded Lewandowski in custody until sentencing on February 22.

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