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Gang terrorises women, children in house attack

a young mum was attacked with a screwdriver when four men burst through the back door of a family home.

The 26-year-old mother-of-three was hit across the head with the screwdriver in the terrifying attack.

Five children and two women were in the house in Co Monaghan when the gang burst in and threatened them with an axe, a lump hammer, a crow bar and a screwdriver.

"The children were very scared," said Tina Lin (26), who was taken to hospital in Drogheda for treatment for a head wound.

Her husband Simon Lin told the Herald: "I rushed back to the house as soon as I heard what happened. They hit Tina on the head with the screwdriver when she refused to leave our infant daughter alone in her bedroom.

"She would not leave our baby and they hit her. There was blood all over the room. The floor was covered with blood because my wife was bleeding so badly. There was so much blood the children feared she was going to die," he added.

He praised the courageous actions of his 12-year-old niece who acted quickly to lock herself into a room and make a '999' call to gardai during the violent raid.

"She is a hero. She kept the door locked and called the police," said her uncle Simon.

The raid happened shortly before 5.30pm on Sunday evening when the four men climbed a boundary fence beside the home of Susan and Jason Lin at Killycard, outside Castleblaney.

fence

As a fifth member of the gang waited in a Silver Opel Vectra car parked nearby on the narrow road, the gang managed to get past two big German Shepherd dogs to the back door which they forced open.

Owners Jason and Susan Lin were working when the raid happened. The couple own and operate Lin's Take Away Restaurant in Castleblaney.

Inside the house were Tina Lin, who is married to Jason's brother Simon, and a 36-year-old Polish woman who helps with child-minding duties, the owners' 12-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son, as well as Tina and Simon's three young daughters, aged five, three, and their youngest who is less than a year old.

The gang, who wore hoodies and gloves and brandished the tools as weapons, threatened the women and children and demanded to know where any cash was kept in the house.

The gang tried to force the women and the five children into a single room. Tina bravely defied them and resisted their threats that she must leave her infant daughter alone in a bedroom and accompany them downstairs.

Her husband Simon said: "My wife does not have good English but she refused the leave the baby. That's when they hit her with the screwdriver."

Meanwhile, the 12-year-old girl managed to elude the gang and lock herself into a room to call the gardai. Mr Lin said the gang left with some cash but there was not any significant sum of money kept in the house.

"When I got back to the house, there were police everywhere," he said.

emergency

Tina was taken by ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where she received six stitches to close the wound on her head, he said.

Neighbour Andrew Burns (19) told the Herald: "Everybody feels very sorry for the family. We just live across the road and two guards came to our house first," he said.

A garda spokesman said CCTV footage is being examined. Gardai are appealing for witnesses, in particular anyone who may have seen a Silver Opel Vectra in the Shercock Road area of Castleblaney between 5pm and 6pm on Sunday.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

RAID: The Lin family home. Inset, Neighbour Andrew Burns


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