herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Man gets 8 years for role in nightmare assault on Eva (89)

Eva Sutton described the attack as ‘hour-and-a-half of hell’
Eva Sutton described the attack as ‘hour-and-a-half of hell’

A man who brutally assaulted an 89-year-old woman after breaking into her home and tying her up with dog leads has been jailed for eight years.

Jamie O'Brien (22), formerly of Hazelwood, Fassaroe, Bray, was one of two men who broke in to the home of Eva Sutton in the early hours of September 10, 2015.

They beat her and tied her up before ransacking the house, and remained at the property for 90 minutes.

O'Brien appeared before Judge Michael O'Shea at Wicklow Circuit Court for sentencing yesterday.

Last December he entered a plea of guilty to burglary, false imprisonment and serious assault causing harm.

Terrifying

"It is unimaginable that any human being could subject another human being to such a degrading, humiliating, horrific, shocking and terrifying ordeal," said the judge.

He added that Ms Sutton had been an extraordinary and independent lady prior to the attack.

"These offences have simply ruined her life,' he said.

Gda Patrick Milward told the court that, at the time of the offence, Mrs Sutton was 89-years-old and living alone in her home on Dublin Road, Bray, her residence for more than 50 years.

O'Brien entered the house at 4.38am and left at 6.03am, the court heard.

The front door was kicked in. Ms Sutton was in bed and heard a bang so she went down.

"I was knocked to the ground. I said to them, 'I'm dying, I'm dying'. It made no difference to them," she told gardai.

"They kicked and hit me all over my body and tied me up in the hall. They dragged me by the hair into the sitting room, shoving me in."

They tied her up with dog leads and belts and left her in the sitting room before leaving the house. They also threatened to kill or shoot her during the time they were in the house.

"I was so frightened. This terrified me. I thought they would never leave. It seemed endless," said Ms Sutton.

Several items of jewellery, including an engagement ring, and £100 (€117) were taken in the burglary.

Ms Sutton's daughter, Amanda, prepared a victim impact statement based on information obtained from her mother.

The court heard Ms Sutton suffered multiple fractured ribs, a punctured lung and broken nose and had to have stitches on her face and legs. She had deep bruising to her face, back legs and all over her body.

She has had difficulty sleeping at night, needed her wounds dressed every day and has had physiotherapy for lung capacity.

Blood

The court heard she decided not to return to her home after what was described as "an hour-and-a-half of hell".

Before the attack, Ms Sutton was an outgoing person.

Gardai identified the men using CCTV from the area nearby.

There was also blood evidence found on O'Brien's clothing .

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with the last two years suspended. A second man awaits sentencing in July.

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