herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Tragic OAP was victim of sex assault

A PENSIONER tortured and assaulted before an attempt was made to sexually mutilate him, has died.

Johnny Golden (73), who was left with severe head injuries after his attacker tortured and beat him, died overnight.

The OAP suffered extensive internal injuries after being sexually assaulted during the attack.

Detectives today launched a murder inquiry into what officers described as one of the most sickening cases they have had to investigate.

The assailant used a pliers and fire poker to assault the elderly victim and sexually mutilate him. A neighbour discovered Mr Golden naked from the waist down.

He is understood to have undergone a number of surgical procedures to treat his injuries but never woke from a coma.

He was bleeding and unconscious on the floor of his small cottage in Nedd, Doogary, Killeshandra, Co Cavan on September 7.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital but he never regained consciousness and finally succumbed to his injuries yesterday evening.

A local man described the horrifying circumstances surrounding the attack.

“Johnny is supposed to have been assaulted with a poker. Seemingly he was beaten around the head with a blunt instrument,” he said.

Investigators arrested a 17- year-old male as part of their enquiries four days after the brutal attack.

He was arrested and questioned at Ballyconnell Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act but was released without charge.

According to local reports, the chief suspect in the case has tried to take his own life on two occasions and has been admitted into a psychiatric facility.

It is understood that the tragic victim was an orphan and had been raised in Sunbeam Home in Bray, Co Wicklow.

Active

He recently appeared in the book Vanishing Ireland by Turtle Bunbury and photographer James Fennell and took an active part in the Church of Ireland.

In the book, he described how he was raised in an orphanage before settling in Co Leitrim as a young man.

The bachelor was held in high regard in his local community and was also a noted traditional Irish musician.

In the Vanishing Ireland book, Johnny described how he still played the accordion “in pubs the odd time”.

The retired mechanic had been making extra money restoring vintage tractors for shows around the country.

After he moved to Leitrim as a teenager, Johnny found work as a farmhand and became a sexton in the Church of Ireland in Killegar.

In recent years, Johnny has been living in his modest cottage outside Newtowngore on the Leitrim/Cavan border.

Locals have reacted with shock to the news of his death and one neighbour described him as “a happy-go-lucky guy”.

Gardai have renewed their appeal for anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious on the day of the attack to come forward.

hnews@herald.ie

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