herald

Friday 18 January 2019

I thought they were going to kill me says model who was battered on night out

A DUBLIN-based model who was savagely attacked on a night out by two women said she thought she was going to die in the attack.

Baiba Engele (24) has revealed that she that she was repeatedly kicked in the head and stomach, and was beaten with their high heels.

The incident happened in Newry, Co Down after the woman went north with her friends for a night out.

The blonde freelance model, originally from Latvia, had been living in Dundalk for the past six years but has moved to Dublin following the attack.

The aspiring catwalk queen is now recovering at the home of friends in Blackrock, as she no longer feels safe at her home in Dundalk, where she is studying for a degree in multimedia.

Speaking to the Herald, she said: "I'm in Blackrock at the minute recovering. I had loads of pain.

"My ankles are all scraped so it's been hard to walk. I was kicked in the head, and it was pulsing a lot as well as being swollen, but that has gone down a bit now.

"It's more the shock of what happened -- they pulled my hair from behind then dragged me down. I was in shock.



Frustrating

"I tried to cover myself but there was little I could do back. I keep replaying it in my mind thinking 'Could I have done more? Should I have tried harder to fight back?'

"Psychologically, it's the most frustrating. I can walk, but not for very long distances. There is some scarring on my legs, but hopefully that will go away."

The motivation behind the attack is still unclear, and she said she doesn't know what could have provoked them.

Baiba revealed that she is now considering a move to Dublin in order to restart her life, as she no longer feels safe in Dundalk.

"I have some friends minding me at the minute. I haven't been back to Dundalk," she said.

"I don't feel safe there. It's quite near the border as well and it's just not somewhere I want to be. I'm with friends. I'm being looked after, thank God. I'm still shocked and it's been distressing for my body.

"I just don't want to go back home. I'm in college in Dundalk on my own. At least I have my friends here."

And the fate of her career on the catwalk hangs in the balance as she fights the emotional scars.

"It's not possible to guess how long it's going to take [to recover]," she said.

"Physically, I'll need a bit more time. But psychologically, honestly, I don't want to meet people and have to keep talking about it again and again."

cmcbride@herald.ie

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