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Sexual assault victim: 'I was concerned I would be thought of as stupid'

Sexual assault victim: 'I was concerned I would be thought of as stupid'

Thursday 23 May 2019

Sexual assault victim: 'I was concerned I would be thought of as stupid'

A woman from the UK has been left scarred after it took three years to sentence a man who indecently assaulted her in St Peter Port in 2016.

Robert Leonczuk, 36, was sent to prison for four years and two months by the Royal Court yesterday, as he was finally brought to justice, but his victim has been waiting for this since she first went to Guernsey Police on the night of the incident.

Leonczuk forcefully digitally penetrated her after they met in Folies night club on 30 July 2016. He had continually disturbed her as the evening went on, but as she made her way away from the club to hail down a taxi, he pushed her into a shop front and assaulted her.

It only took seconds for the woman to react, punch Leonczuk and run to the nearest taxi, then after returning to her friends' home where she was staying, she was taken to the police station to report the crime. To read more about the details surrounding this case which came out during the trial, click here.

A week later, the Polish National was once again in the club. Guernsey Police were informed, and came and arrested him.

court entrance

But it was then that delays started. After being interviewed, Leonczuk was bailed. He then did not return on his set date, and it was found he had fled to Poland, before returning to London. An arrest warrant was issued by the court the following February 2017, after Police had exhausted a number of attempts to track him down. It then took a year for the Metropolitan Police to come across, and arrest Leonczuk after they found him in March 2018. 

The problems did not stop there though. After his arrest in London, Leonczuk assaulted a London police officer and was charged with battery. Those proceedings then started before he was extradited to the island, meaning they had to be concluded first. Six months down the line, Leonczuk was sentenced to one day in prison by the UK courts, and then transported to Guernsey.

All through this time, the victim was left with the stress of receiving regular update calls from Guernsey Police, which she said she was grateful for, but also left her having to process the situation each time. Crown Advocate Rory Calderwood read out the victim impact statement she wrote to the court. Inside, she said she felt the crime had followed her into a new life she had created. She also told of how she waited a long time to even tell her parents what had happened, because she feared what they might thing. Concluding, she said she now had a sympathy for people who did not report similar crimes committed against them. 

Les Nicolles Prison

Leonczuk has been remanded in custody since last year - his sentence is dating back until that time. 

In April, Leonczuk finally faced trial in the Royal Court for the indecent assault. He pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to answer bail, but resolutely denied the assault. After the trial though, the Court found him unanimously guilty, and yesterday, that same court sentenced him to his prison time, and also recommended him for deportation. 

Judge Russell Finch said it was solely on Leonczuk that this case had taken so long to conclude. "[Your] story was highly implausible and highly unlikely - that the victim was offering you sexual services for a small amount of money, and then demanded more. The court emphatically rejected this account.

"It is a fact that that a woman who came over here for a happy event will forever have her recollection marred by this sexual assault, an assault which must have been frightening and long lasting in its effects. 

"We are wholly unimpressed by your continual denial, which flies in the face of the compelling evidence that the court heard. The purported character assassination of the victim is a very unpleasant feature of the matter." 

Leonczuk will not only serve his four years and two months in Les Nicolles (dated back to when he was remanded in custody last year) but he will also be under a supervision order when he is released. If he is deported, this supervision order will be carried to the UK. 

Pictured top: Robert Leonczuk. 

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