A MAN has been found guilty of looking up a woman’s skirt in a Poole supermarket.

Michal Ireneusz Kowalski denied committing an act of outraging public decency at the Tower Park Tesco store last summer.

Following a two-day trial at Bournemouth Crown Court this week, the jury unanimously found him guilty of the offence.

Giving evidence, Kowalski, 38 and of Aspen Gardens, Poole, claimed he bent low down to the ground behind the complainant to pick up a £20 note he had spotted on the floor.

This was a change in the account he had given to police in interview just five days after the incident, when he said he had squatted down to relieve pain caused by internal haemorrhoids.

The court heard he had also bent down behind another woman minutes before the incident concerned in the charge.

Following the guilty verdict, Judge Robert Pawson said: “I am concerned about the safety of any woman walking around the streets in Bournemouth and Poole.

“The evidence was overwhelming, it’s testament to the way you were represented that the jury were out for as long as they were.

“You pose a menace to women. You went [to Tesco] with one thing on your mind, the fact there’s nothing in your trolly makes it clear.

“You came out with a cock and bull story, it is a poppycock suggestion that you suffer from haemorrhoids and you have to crouch down at exactly the same time as the woman in that aisle. You got up at the same time she did.

“Two minutes later you did the same thing to the victim in this case.”

The jury, which deliberated for less than three hours before reaching their verdict on Friday, June 17, had earlier been told during the prosecution’s case that the complainant was alerted to the defendant’s actions by her young daughter.

Bournemouth Echo: The Tesco store at Tower ParkThe Tesco store at Tower Park

Prosecutor Ryan Murray presented CCTV evidence to the court which showed Kowalski’s behaviour in the store on the afternoon of the incident in July 2021.

The footage showed the defendant go around a retail module before going low down to the ground as the woman was bending over to look at something on the shelf in front of her.

The complainant told the jury she was “very upset” and panicking after the incident.

She called her parents for help and they rushed to the store to support her.

Her mother told the court her daughter had never contacted her before sounding so scared.

The defendant gave no comment to police questions before providing an initial account in a second interview.

Bournemouth Echo: Michal Ireneusz Kowalski, 38, leaving Bournemouth Crown Court on FridayMichal Ireneusz Kowalski, 38, leaving Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday

He told officers he suffered from haemorrhoids and this was his explanation for being seen on CCTV to bend down in the store.

However, when giving evidence in court he claimed he had gone low to the ground to subtly pick up a £20 note he had seen on the floor.

Kowalski told the court he did not mention this in his police interview as it was not his money and he did not want to bring that to the officer's attention at that stage.

Mr Murray suggested to the defendant that he was “making this up as you go along”, which he denied.

Bournemouth Echo: The trial took place at Bournemouth Crown CourtThe trial took place at Bournemouth Crown Court

The prosecutor asked if it was therefore just coincidence that he squats down as the complainant bends over. Kowalski said it was just by chance that this happened as he reached for the money.

Mr Murray put it to the defendant that he was looking up the woman’s skirt, to which he replied “no I didn’t”.

Kowalski, who stood emotionless as the guilty verdict was returned, was remanded on conditional bail ahead of his sentencing at the same court on July 15.

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