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Horror ordeal Woman says she was dragged from car by man with hammer after meeting to sell iPhone

"When I see someone walk past, I actually flinch. It was a horrible experience."

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 (Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

A woman has told of her "traumatic experience" after she was allegedly dragged from a car by a man armed with a hammer.

Sylwia Skawinska (22), from Co Wexford, had arranged to meet a man who had contacted her on a buy-and-sell website about purchasing her Apple iPhone 11 for €350.

He claimed to be living in Dublin and asked if they could meet somewhere in between.

"We agreed to meet in Castledermot in Kildare and I suggested the car park of the local community centre as I wanted to meet somewhere safe and public," she said.

"We arranged to meet at 7pm last Monday and there was nobody there when I arrived."

Ms Skawinska and her boyfriend waited in the car for about 30 minutes so she texted the buyer to see if he was still coming.

"A few seconds later, someone was running at the car.

"They opened the door and tried to grab my phone and dragged me out of the car," she said.

"He had a hammer in his hand and a balaclava on.

"My boyfriend managed to knock the hammer out of his hand and threw his own phone at him. He told him, 'Take that and f**k off'.

"It was an instinctive kind of reaction to get him away.

"He didn't steal the phone I was selling but he did get a phone.

"My boyfriend was scared for my safety and wanted to get him away."

She said she did not think the attacker "was expecting anyone else to be in the car".

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Ms Skawinska told Beat News Radio she had advertised a phone online.

The man messaged her on a buy-and-sell app. Everything was arranged over text.

"It was fairly traumatic. I know meeting people off websites like that can be sketchy at the best of times but I never imagined something like this could happen," she said.

"We drove off straight away. We locked the car and rang the guards who came to us and took statements."

Ms Skawinska said the experience had left her nervous and on edge.

"I can't even sit in the car for five minutes by myself.

"When I see someone walk past, I actually flinch. It was a horrible experience.

"People and women need to be vigilant about meeting people from buy-and-sell websites."

A garda spokesperson said: "Gardaí are investigating a robbery from a person that took place on the main street in Castledermot on January 31 at approximately 7.25pm.

"A mobile was taken by an unidentified male who later fled the scene."

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