herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Homeless mother suffered multiple horror stab wounds

Eugenia Bratis
Eugenia Bratis

Gardaí realised a homeless woman found dead in the Phoenix Park had been stabbed when they lifted her top and saw intestines protruding from her wounds, an inquest heard.

Eugenia Bratis (50) was found by passersby at a wooded area off Military Road in the park on the afternoon of August 5, 2009.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard that she had been stabbed multiple times.

Ms Bratis, a Romanian mother-of-two, had been back and forth to Ireland since April 2008. It is not known how long she was living rough.

Her body was discovered by pensioner Mick Gorey on his daily walk. He was talking to an elderly man, who has not been identified, that he knew from walking in the park when a group of stags near some trees drew his attention and he spotted something. When he went to investigate he found Ms Bratis.

"I saw a lot of blue bottles then, so I moved closer and saw all the bluebottles around this person's face. I knew then there was something terribly wrong," he said.

Ms Bratis was lying on her side and under a duvet and there were plastic bags around her. Mr Gorey and the unidentified man went to the home of park resident Ann O'Shea who reported the discovery to the gardaí.

 

INJURIES

Both Mr Gorey and Ms O'Shea told the inquest that they saw another man walking in the vicinity of the body on the day. This man has not been identified either.

Sergeant Aidan Flanagan said when he went to the scene it initially appeared that Ms Bratis, who was wearing a nightdress, had died in her sleep.

However, when Dr Haroon Khan lifted the duvet and her fleece top, the injuries were uncovered.

"I could see what appeared to be two stab wounds and a portion of intestine protruding from this lady's wounds," he said.

At this point, detectives and the state pathologist's office were alerted to the death. Dr Khan estimated that Ms Bratis had been dead for 24 to 48 hours before being discovered.

The postmortem was carried out by deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis who found that Ms Bratis died from multiple stab wounds injuring her lungs, heart and kidney. There were no defensive wounds.

Detective Inspector Colm Murphy said the investigation into Ms Bratis's death is ongoing and "active".

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by a person or persons unknown.

hnews@herald.ie

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