A 33-year-old man has been found guilty of trying to get a woman into his car in the middle of the night by posing as a gardener and threatening her.
eclan McGowan, a builder by profession, told gardaí he pulled his car up with the woman, who was walking down Kimmage Lower Road, Dublin, on the night of September 18 last year. He said he did this because he thought she was in danger.
Andra Calauz told the court she was arguing over the phone with her husband, who was at their nearby home. McGowan tells her he is a gardener and has a gun in his car. He also said she was beautiful, took her hand and kissed it, then hugged her.
She said she felt scared and pressured by McGowan and he repeatedly told her to get in his car.
Her husband, Daniel Ion, said that when he arrived at the scene, McGowan began strangling him with one hand and Ms. Calauz began to cry. He said McGowan was shouting at him to get back in the house with his children, or else he would call Tusla and they would be taken away.
He said McGowan was “screaming” at Ms. Calauz to get in the car.
He believes McGowan is either a corrupt cop or “a dangerous guy,” he said he told McGowan two or three times to let his wife go and told his wife that, no matter what happens, she shouldn’t get in the car either.
Mr. Ion called gardaí, who arrived within minutes and arrested McGowan.
McGowan, of Branswood, Athy, Co Kildare, pleaded not guilty to attempting to rape Ms. Calauz, assaulting her, impersonating a member of An Garda Síochána and assaulting Mr. Ion causing him harm.
After a four-day trial, it took the jury just three hours to return guilty verdicts on all four counts.
Judge Patricia Ryan thanked the jurors for their time. She asked McGowan to remain in custody until June 17, when a hearing will take place.
After her arrest, McGowan told the gardaí that the woman had told him she was in danger, that her husband had locked her in the apartment and that she didn’t want to go back there. Both Mr. Ion and his wife denied these offers in their testimony before the trial.
McGowan told the gardaí that when Ion arrived at the scene, he hit his wife in the face. McGowan claims he was only restraining Mr Ion to prevent him from attacking the woman again.
He said he told Mr. Ion that he would phone the gardener when Mr. Ion threatened to shoot him. He said he had never told anyone he was a gardener and added that this could have been a misunderstanding because of the “huge language barrier”.
He denied ever kissing or hugging the woman.
Defense attorney Garnet Orange SC told the jury that the only thing his client did wrong was make the foolish decision to act “good Samaritan”.
“He made the grave mistake of placing himself between his wife and husband,” the lawyer said.
John Moher BL, prosecutor, said Mr. McGowan’s account was illusory. He said that when the defendant tried to get the woman into his car interrupted by the appearance of her husband “he went on a rampage” and assaulted the man.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/man-33-convicted-of-trying-to-get-woman-into-his-car-in-middle-of-the-night-by-posing-as-a-garda-41420334.html Man (33 years old) was found guilty of trying to get a woman into his car in the middle of the night by posing as a gardener