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Monday 25 September 2017

Thug could face life in jail for horrific assault on Eva (89)

Eva Sutton
Eva Sutton
Michael Cash

A career criminal who tied up an 89-year-old woman with dog leads during a horrific assault faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment later this month.

Michael Cash (25) was on bail when he broke into the home of Eva Sutton before subjecting her to a terrifying 90-minute ordeal, during which she suffered broken bones and a punctured lung.

Earlier this year, the thug admitted to false imprisonment, burglary and serious assault causing harm to Ms Sutton - now aged 91 - at her home on the Dublin Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, on September 10, 2015.

He has more than 90 previous convictions.

The case was called before Wicklow Circuit Court yesterday morning, where his sentencing hearing was set for July 25.

Cash, of Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, Co Dublin, now faces the prospect of a lengthy jail term, with the maximum penalty for false imprisonment being life in prison.

Earlier this year, his co-accused, Jamie O'Brien (23), received a 10-year jail term, with the final two years suspended.

O'Brien, of Hazelwood, Bray, had 30 previous convictions, including 12 for burglary, and was also on bail at the time of the horrific incident.

The two serial offenders kicked through the front door of Ms Sutton's home at 4.30am on the date of the incident, and only left around 90 minutes later at 6.03am.

Alarm

The elderly victim attempted to call for help by pressing a panic button attached to her necklace, but her attackers ripped the alarm from her neck.

They then tied up the frail lady with dog leads and belts before assaulting her and ransacking her home.

Ms Sutton eventually managed to release the straps and get outside, where a garda patrol car happened to be passing by.

Several items of jewellery, including an engagement ring, and £100 (€116) in cash were taken in the burglary.

At O'Brien's sentencing hearing in April, Judge Michael O'Shea described the incident as a "degrading, humiliating, horrific, shocking and terrifying ordeal".

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

"These offences have simply ruined her life," said Judge O'Shea.

The court heard that Ms Sutton was beaten and kicked in the head and chest despite pleading with the men to stop.

The elderly woman, who lived alone, suffered seven broken ribs, a punctured lung and injuries to her body and face, requiring stitches.

Judge O'Shea said Ms Sutton was an extraordinary woman and said she told the men she was dying but it made no difference to them.

Senior sources also praised the work carried out by investigating officers at Bray Garda Station, including the local detective unit, which ensured that an enormous amount of evidence was gathered against both of the accused.

Evidence

"Gardai investigating this case gathered a wealth of evidence, including forensics and CCTV footage, which gave the two thugs no other option but to plead guilty," said a source.

After being charged with the three offences last year, O'Brien's family home was set alight, in what sources said was "100pc" linked to the assault on Ms Sutton.

The house in Fassaroe, Bray, was set on fire and graffiti was daubed on a side wall, which read "rat" and "woman beater".

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