Polish teacher brought back over sex charge

By Liam Heylin

A Polish primary school teacher was extradited to Ireland to face a charge of sexually assaulting a woman at a nightspot in Cork City when he was visiting for a two-week English language course.

Detective Garda Brian Maher said the victim of the sexual assault was out socialising with friends at the venue in Cork City at 2.30am on March 16, 2016. The accused man, Mariusz Hefczyc, aged 37, and another man were leaving the premises and walking through a group of people.

“He put his hands between her legs and grabbed her vaginal area. She grabbed hold of him and confronted him. Staff were alerted and he was questioned,” Det Garda Maher said yesterday at Cork District Court.

The accused returned to Poland before he was charged with any offence. Det Garda Maher later went to the High Court for a warrant to arrest him. He was arrested in Poland on June 11 and extradited to Ireland a fortnight later. He has been remanded in custody in Poland and Ireland since June 11.

Eddie Burke, solicitor, said the accused had no convictions in either country and was pleading guilty to the sexual assault. The married father of one has lost his teaching job as a result of this, Mr Burke said.

“He did not contest the warrant. He does apologise first and foremost.

“He was in Cork for a two-week English language course. He had quite a lot of drink and he did this. He is disgusted with himself,” said Mr Burke.

Judge Olann Kelleher said: “This is an unfortunate incident. This lady was out with friends and this caused her great distress.” The judge referred to the fact that the Director of Public Prosecutions had accepted jurisdiction to deal with the case at Cork District Court.

Judge Kelleher imposed a four-month jail term on Mariusz Hefczyc who is from Glucholazy, Wieniaqskiego, Poland. The sentence was backdated to June 11 when he went into custody.

No details that might identify the complainant, who is aged around 30, are reported. The defendant was not known to her.

On the question of the accused man not contesting the extradition warrant and cooperating with the investigation, Det Garda Maher said that was so, but added that the accused would have been aware that he was looking for him in relation to this sexual assault.

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