A SEX attacker slit his own throat while in the dock awaiting sentence because he mistakenly thought he was going to prison for grabbing hold of a shop worker and kissing her on the lips, a court has heard.
Lukasz Robert Pawlowski, 33, took a 3in kitchen knife with him when he went to Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court in Pembrokeshire, west Wales, on January 11, managing to get it through security and hide it under a bin in the toilets.
Pawlowski had to be airlifted to hospital after slashing at his throat and has been on remand since being discharged on January 12.
At Swansea Crown Court on Monday, Judge Paul Thomas sentenced him to a three-year community order and said: ‘What you did when you mistakenly thought you were going to prison in fact has landed you in prison where you otherwise would not have been.’
Prosecutor Robin Rouch said Pawlowski approached the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in the shop she worked in on October 30 and pointed to his cheek as if asking for a kiss, before leaning over the counter and kissing her on the cheek.
Pawlowski then asked for the woman’s helped and grabbed her, leaned her backwards and kissed her on the lips.
Mr Rouch said the woman felt vulnerable after the incident and described her feelings in a victim impact statement.
‘It made her feel upset, someone thinking they had the right to touch her and kiss her,’ he said
‘She still doesn’t feel comfortable about what happened and she is still fearful of seeing the defendant.’
Mr Rouch said she was thinking about leaving her job.
The court heard officers arrested Pawlowski, of Bush Street, Pembroke Dock, after identifying him on CCTV. He told them in interview he did not think there was an issue between them, but now realised he had misread the situation.
On January 11, Pawlowski’s case was called on at 10.15pm. A short time later, he asked to go to the toilet.
Mr Rouch said: ‘The defendant returned and went back into the secure dock area. Shortly afterwards, the court clerk noticed that he appeared to be scratching his neck area and saw he had what appeared to be a knife.’
He said Pawlowski then began making ‘concerted efforts’ to slash at his throat and began to bleed ‘profusely’.
The court heard Pawlowski had served the equivalent of a four-month sentence.
Jon Tarrant, for the defence, said both offences Pawlowski had admitted, sexual assault and possession of a bladed article, were committed as a result of ‘misinterpretation’ on his client’s part.
He said: ‘He felt he was going into custody. It is quite clear again from his interview he had not completely understood the process.
‘He still believed that made him guilty on that day.’
Pawlowski was ordered to take part in a community sex offender treatment programme as part of his community order, plus carry out 80 hours unpaid work and attend a rehabilitation activity requirement for 10 days.
He will have to sign the sex offender’s register for five years and was made the subject of a restraining order not to approach the woman.