herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Police have let me down after stiletto beating

COMPLAINT: Model's fury as attacker goes free

A Dublin-based model who was brutally attacked on a night out has made a formal complaint to the police ombudsman.

Baiba Engele (24) was assaulted by two women outside a nightclub last month and was kicked in the head, stomach and ribs.

The women also viciously beat her with their stiletto shoes during the incident in Newry.

Baiba feels she has been "assaulted all over again" since just one of the attackers has been given a formal caution.

She has now issued a formal complaint with the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and is determined to keep fighting until she gets her day in court.

"I simply cannot believe these people have got away so easily," she said.

"I don't understand the justice system in Northern Ireland. I was kicked in the head, stomach and legs and I still can't walk properly."

Baiba, who is from Latvia, but now living in Blackrock in Dublin, feels so upset that she fled her Louth home, fearing for her safety.

And the striking blonde, who was carving out an impressive career for herself as a model, says her career now hangs in the balance as she is still suffering the effects of the attack.

Baiba had been studying for a degree in media studies at Dundalk IT and admitted she has been unable to return to her studies, and is looking into the possibility of transferring her course to Dublin.

A spokesperson for Ms Engele added: "The fact that this assault was fast-tracked through the courts within hours of the assault raises more questions than it does answers.



Ignored

"Ms Engele's official statement was completely ignored. Her sense of justice and her faith in the PSNI has been damaged and she feels doubly traumatised as a result.

"Ms Engele was entitled to her day in court and this was denied her with a ruling that amounted to little more than a smack on the wrist for her attacker. We are asking for a full and proper investigation into this assault."

A spokesman for the PSNI told the Herald that they were not in a position to comment due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing, and a formal complaint has been made.

"Because there has been a complaint made to police ombudsman, we are unable to make a comment on the case," he said.

"We are prohibited in commenting. There are allegations of an assault made by this girl, which the PSNI is looking into.

"There was one person, but those charges were dropped by the court service. We are limited in anything we can to say for those two reasons. The investigation is ongoing."

cmcbride@herald.ie

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