herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Suspect quizzed over stab attack on Dublin star

Jonny Cooper
Jonny Cooper

GARDAI were last night quizzing the prime suspect for the frenzied stabbing attack on Dublin GAA star, Jonny Cooper.

The man was arrested after officers received the results of forensic tests on clothing they had seized last week.

Detectives have also obtained a knife, which they believe to have been the weapon used in the shocking assault.

Cooper (24) was slashed nine times in the head, face and neck as he crouched down to protect himself. One of the slashings was close to his eye socket.

The suspect, who is from the west of Ireland, was taken out of Cloverhill prison by investigating officers and brought to Mountjoy garda station for questioning.

The suspect is being held in Cloverhill in relation to a separate offence.

He was arrested under section 42 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1999, and can be held in Mountjoy station without charge for up to 24 hours.

The arrest followed a close study of footage taken from CCTV cameras in the Dorset Street area of the city, where Mr Cooper was attacked last Saturday week.

Forensic examinations were also carried out and investigators said help from the public had been of valuable assistance to them.

They said they were pleased with the response to their plea for help on the RTE CrimeCall programme a week ago.

Mr Cooper had been on a night out with friends, after his club, Na Fianna had played in the Dublin championship on Friday, September 19.

UNPROVOKED

He was on his way home at around 5am the following morning and was sitting on steps outside a house in Dorset Street when his attacker ran across the road, and, totally unprovoked, began stabbing him and demanding his wallet. The thug then ran off with the wallet, which contained very little money.

Gardai said all of the available evidence indicated that robbery was the sole motive but they were shocked by the sustained violence of the stabbing.

Officers were anxious for an early arrest as they feared that the attacker could strike again.

Mr Cooper was hospitalised as a result of the assault but was allowed home after treatment. He is now recovering from his injuries and has declined to comment further on the incident. He was spotted at the Ladies All-Ireland final in Croke Park on Sunday.

His sister, Jules said that he was "extremely lucky" and he's doing well.

"He's quite a strong character and is in good form, considering what he went through," she said.

Jules said Jonny had been told that he would not know if he'd have permanent scars until his injuries had healed further but most of the cuts are under the hairline.

hnews@herald.ie

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