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Sunday 4 December 2016

Gardai tighten net on thugs who beat sisters after Facebook 'date'

Sisters Nicole and Amy Rice who were attacked by two men in an apartment in Newbridge in May
Sisters Nicole and Amy Rice who were attacked by two men in an apartment in Newbridge in May

Gardai are closing in on two gangster thugs who fled the country after a horror attack on two sisters.

The duo, who have almost 100 previous criminal convictions between them, are wanted for questioning after they left Amy (21) and Nicole Rice (19) battered and bruised at a property in Newbridge, Co Kildare, on the night of May 14 last.

The gangsters, from the Crumlin and Tallaght areas of the capital, fled the country in the aftermath of the brutal attack and spent some time in the UK and continental Europe.

Arrested

However, they are now believed to have returned to Ireland in recent days and are due to be arrested on sight.

Nicole and Amy have made "detailed and credible" statements to gardai about what happened on the night and officers are "very anxious" to speak with the culprits in the case.

"It would be best if these individuals gave themselves up so that detectives can speak to them and get to hear what they have to say about this matter," a senior source pointed out.

READ MORE: Hostage ordeal sisters: 'We’re worried about what will happen when we get released from hospital'

The source added that the property where the assaults happened has been forensically examined by gardai and key evidence has been obtained.

Since going on the run, one of the suspects in the case was given a jail sentence in his absence in relation to a motoring case after he failed to turn up to answer the charges.

"These are heavy duty fellas with links to drugs gangs in south Dublin," the source said.

READ MORE: Sisters beaten in 20 hour hostage hell

"They have significant criminal connections and gardai have been monitoring the safety of the injured parties in this case."

The Rice sisters are understood to be recovering well from their ordeal, which allegedly started after they met the criminals on the social media website Facebook.

The pair agreed to meet with two men with who they had initially spoken to through the internet in early May.

Amy said in a previous interview with the Herald that the pair seemed nice, and they arranged to travel to Newbridge, Co Kildare for a drink on the night.

They met the two men, aged 25 and 30, at a bus stop and were brought to an apartment in Newbridge town centre shortly after 7.30pm on May 14.

Soon after, Amy said one of the men, who is originally from Crumlin, started "acting weird".

"His demeanour changed and he started talking about how he had been in jail before," she said.

"They started to get aggressive, and my sister got up to leave at about 8pm.

"One of them pulled her hair, pushed her to the ground and started kicking her in the head," she added.

The brave young woman attempted to intervene to save her younger sister, but the other man started to pummel her in a frenzied attack.

"They tied us up with rags and put them on our mouths and just kept laughing and laughing as they beat us up," Amy said.

Ransom

The sisters say the men worked themselves into a frenzy and asked them to ring "someone with money to pay a ransom" which would set them free.

However, when the sisters said they didn't have any money in their family, they were beaten further.

Eventually the sisters were able to escape the property, covered in blood before flagging down a man who was driving by with two children.

He brought them straight to hospital.

The sisters were treated at Tallaght Hospital for their injuries, which included a fractured jaw and broken nose.

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