herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Tests may prove if kym's attacker used a weapon

Supt Gerry Wall is pursuing a number of lines of enquiry
Supt Gerry Wall is pursuing a number of lines of enquiry

Gardai have not yet determined if a weapon was used in a brutal attack which left a young student in intensive care.

Kym Owens (18) was viciously beaten after she got off a bus in Maynooth, having travelled from her home town in Co Monaghan.

The young student was walking back to her lodgings when she was attacked, leaving her with broken eye sockets, a broken nose and jaw. She also lost a number of teeth.

She was rushed to the intensive care unit in Blanchardstown Hospital and has still not been able to speak with gardai, who are awaiting the green light from doctors to interview her.

It is understood that she was placed in an induced coma on Sunday night and doctors are monitoring her condition closely. However, it is believed her life is not in danger.

Kym Owens
Kym Owens

Results

There is no evidence to date that a weapon was used in the attack - despite the extent of the innocent student's injuries - but gardai are hoping the results of medical testing will shed more light on the matter.

Robbery has been ruled out as a motive for the terrifying incident but investigators say they are keeping an open mind about the motivation for the attack.

CCTV from the bus Ms Owens had travelled on is being examined by gardai as part of the investigation but they have not ruled out that her attacker may not have been on the bus.

Investigators said they are following several lines of enquiry and that the bus Ms Owens took from Monaghan was just one of those lines being examined.

"The victim had been on that bus so naturally we have to look at that. CCTV from the bus and other areas in Maynooth is being examined but we are urging people to keep an open mind on this," said Supt Gerry Wall of Leixlip Garda Station.

"There has been speculation in circulation that a weapon was used but in truth we just don't know yet what caused the victim's injuries," he added.

Supt Wall said the response from the public has been very good and that gardai are also liaising with Maynooth University staff and students.

"We've had a great reaction from the college and the public and we encourage anyone who knows or saw anything to come forward," he said.

Ms Owens was making her way to her lodgings in the Moyglare Abbey housing estate in Maynooth at the time of the attack.

She was walking through the estate at around 8.30pm on Sunday after returning by bus to Maynooth following a weekend visit to her family.

Gardai are still trying to contact all of the passengers on the bus, which made several stops, including Clones, Castleblayney and Ardee, before arriving at Maynooth.

They want to know if she had been talking to anybody on the bus or on her way to the estate before the incident.

Checks have also been made among her friends and other law students at the university while additional personnel have been drafted into the area from throughout the eastern garda region to help with door-to-door enquiries in Moyglare Abbey and along her route home

Jogging

"This is a major investigation and we are treating the incident as a very serious assault", a senior garda officer told the Herald last night.

"We would like to hear from anybody who was walking or jogging in the area between 8.15pm and 8.30pm on Sunday, so we can eliminate them from our enquiries", he added.

"Visibility was very poor because of the dense fog but somebody might have spotted a person acting suspiciously or wearing blood-spattered clothing."

Gardai asked anybody with information to contact the investigation headquarters at Leixlip station, on telephone 01 6667800.

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