herald

Sunday 23 July 2017

Arrest made over 'violent and sustained' assault on woman

Gardai at the scene of the assault at Pollerton Castle, Carlow
Gardai at the scene of the assault at Pollerton Castle, Carlow

A man has been arrested over a brutal assault that left a woman fighting for her life.

The woman was walking home from a local shop when she was viciously attacked, at around 2am on Sunday morning.

Gardai obtained CCTV footage of the woman "being dragged" into Pollerton Castle by a man in the early hours of Sunday morning.

This CCTV footage directly led to the arrest of the suspect.

The 35-year-old man has addresses in both Carlow town and in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Traumatised

He is well known to gardai for a variety of offences.

The woman was "seriously and severely" attacked, a source said.

She did not know her attacker.

The suspect dragged the woman, who lives locally and is in her early 50s, into the grounds of Pollerton Castle as she was walking home.

The victim was found hours later, lying unconscious and injured in undergrowth on the grounds of Pollerton Castle on Sunday afternoon.

Garda sources stressed the severity and brutality of the attack.

"This was very nearly a murder investigation but the victim is making a good recovery," a senior source said.

"This was a violent and sustained attack.

"The victim is beyond traumatised. The severity of what happened is almost indescribable."

Gardai believe the victim was accosted by somebody between 3am and 5am and assaulted at that location, said Superintendent Gerry Redmond.

The woman was taken to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny, where she is still being treated this weekend.

The suspect has numerous convictions, mostly for public order and other relatively minor offences.

He once cited significant mental health issues as a reason for failing to appear in court.

"This is an individual who is well-known to garda officers but predominantly for low-level issues," a senior source said.

"The severity of this attack is not something this man would have been ever suspected of.

Horrendous

"This was a horrendous attack. The victim was essentially left for dead."

The man is being detained at Carlow Garda Station.

The victim lives alone and was this weekend being tended to by her family.

"This was a random attack. She was literally pulled into a park and savagely attacked," the source added.

Gardai continue to appeal for witnesses who travelled along Staplestown Road, St Patrick's Avenue or Pollerton Road on Sunday morning between 2am and 5am to contact them at Carlow Garda Station on 059-9136620.

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