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"Salacious" man guilty of forceful indecent assault in Town

Friday 05 April 2019

"Salacious" man guilty of forceful indecent assault in Town


A Polish painter who was working in Guernsey during the summer of 2016 has been found unanimously guilty of indecently assaulting a woman in Town when she was on a night out.

Robert Leonczuk met the woman in Folies night club on 30 July 2016, where they started talking. But from that point on, the man kept 'bugging' the woman, who was in Guernsey for a wedding, which she had been at earlier that day.

At one point, the Royal Court heard how although the complainant was still slightly drunk, she had called her boyfriend to talk and mentioned Leonczuk following her around. The boyfriend told the court how he had heard his partner shout "go away, I am on the phone", when they were speaking.

These numerous interactions in the club were shown to Judge Russell Finch and the Jurats from a number of CCTV cameras. The final bit of footage depicted the complainant with Leonczuk outside Folies after kickout time. She had been speaking to the cloakroom to see if they had her bag which she had lost, and was waiting outside.

follies_sign.jpg

CCTV footage from inside and outside of Folies followed the complainant's interactions with the defendant for the entire night. 

The footage showed the defendant crouched behind the woman, before he lifted her off the ground.

In the complainant's account, she said she had decided to get a taxi home at that point, and begun walking toward the taxi rank. She said she was fully aware of her surroundings at this point, and as she was walking past some shop fronts, Leonczuk pushed her up against the wall, lifted her dress up, put his hand inside her underwear and digitally penetrated her. After just a couple of seconds of shock, the woman shouted in shock and punched the defendant twice in the face. She then ran into the road, hailed down a taxi and left.

Later that night, a friend accompanied her to the police station.

Two witnesses, the friend and the boyfriend, both appeared to give evidence during the trial, and corroborated the woman's account. They said she had not seemed that drunk on the night - no more drunk than someone would expect of a wedding guest - and she herself said she would have only said she was a 'five out of 10' at her most intoxicated. 

Guernsey Police Station

The complainant, who was not from Guernsey, but visiting for a wedding, went to the police station very soon after the offence. Her evidence was given in court via an ABE [achieving best evidence] (video) interview with Police in the UK. 

During the trial, Leonczuk totally denied the accusations he was facing. He took to the stand to tell the Royal Court his version of events, claiming the woman had been friendly to him all night, and had accepted £20 to come back to his hotel room. He said she was obviously very drunk. They only fell out, he said, after she had asked for a further £50, and then attempted to punch him. "Never in my life have I touched a girl in that way," he said. The court decided otherwise, unanimously finding him guilty of the offence.

Leonczuk's case has now been adjourned until 21 May, when he will appear once again before the Royal Court to be sentenced. Until then, he was remanded in custody.

On that date, the defendant will not only face the indecent assault charge, but will also be sentenced for a bail offence he committed after his arrest. He was initially taken into police custody on the Saturday following the event, when he was once again in Folies. After interview, he was bailed by Guernsey Police unconditionally, with a date to attend court. But he never did appear, and was only rearrested recently when the Metropolitan Police detained him for battery in London. 

When opening the case, Crown Advocate Rory Calderwood said this was a case of truth or lies. On this occasion, the Jurats found the defendant to be the one who lied to them.

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