Polish man convicted of sexually assaulting neighbour

The case was heard at Bishop Street courthouse.
The case was heard at Bishop Street courthouse.

A Polish man has been convicted of sexually assaulting his next door neighbour.

Grzegorz Jan Dyrda, whose address was given on court papers as Deramore Drive, Strathfoyle, denied the charge.

However, he was convicted following a contest at Derry Magistrate’s Court and will be sentenced next month after a probation pre-sentence report is prepared.

The injured party told the court that Dyrda knocked at her door shortly after 9pm on December 2, last year.

She looked through a curtain to see who was at the door before opening it.

The court heard the 43-year-old asked to come into the woman’s house and she told him ‘no chance you are not coming into my house’.

She said he then pushed her front door and she could smell alcohol on his breath.

The woman said Dyrda ‘dropped his hand and forcibly groped my private area’.

She told the court she was in ‘shock’ and began ‘roaring’ at the 43-year-old before pushing him off her doorstep.

The woman also claimed Dyrda had made sexual comments and gestures towards her in the two years prior to the incident.

Under cross-examination by defence barrister, Steven Mooney, the woman said she did not feel under threat when she saw Dyrda at her door.

She said the sexual comments made by her neighbour were ‘uncalled for’ but she did not feel alarmed by them.

The woman denied suggestions that the incident did not happen and claimed she was left with bruising to the area Dyrda groped.

However, she said she did not seek medical attention and did not inform police as the bruising did not appear until a couple of days after the incident.

The court also heard evidence from another neighbour who claimed to have seen ‘pushing and shoving’ at the woman’s front door.

He said this led him to believe there was some sort of struggle as the door was pushed in and out six or seven times.

The neighbour told the court he then saw Dyrda walking away from the woman’s property a short time later.

Giving evidence on his own behalf via an interpreter, 43-year-old Dyrda told the court he had

gone to a friend’s house after work and had consumed four or five beers.

He left and when he saw the light on in the complainant’s house he decided to tell her he was going to Poland for Christmas for the first time in eleven years.

He said the woman opened her door but there was not much conversation between them because ‘I don’t really speak English’.

The 43-year-old said the woman then told him to go home because she smelled alcohol on his breath.

Dyrda told the court he left and went home where he had an argument with his wife and daughter.

He denied that he sexually assaulted the woman or that he had ever made sexual comments towards her.

Dyrda said he always had a good relationship with his neighbour and they would say hello to one another.

During cross examination, the 43-year-old denied touching the woman or ‘trying his luck’ with her after consuming too much alcohol.

He told the court ‘no way, my wife was next door’.

The Polish national also said ‘if I wanted another woman I would go to Poland. I don’t need another woman’.

After hearing all the evidence in the case, District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was satisfied the complainant had given a ‘credible and truthful account’ to the court.

Judge Broderick convicted Dyrda and granted him continuing bail to appear in court again on May 15.