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Saturday 18 November 2017

'Why has attacker who split my head open not been charged?' - gran

Doreen O’Shea with her dog Charlie at home in Ashford, Co Wicklow,
Doreen O’Shea with her dog Charlie at home in Ashford, Co Wicklow,

A grandmother whose brutal attacker left her for dead with gaping head wounds said she has been "let down by gardai".

Doreen O'Shea (53), from Ashford, Co Wicklow, was savagely beaten by the man who broke into her home early one morning in July 2015.

During the prolonged attack, he broke both her arms and split open her skull, while one of her ears had to be surgically re-attached after it was severed.

Ms O'Shea said the man was subsequently convicted of drug offences but had not been charged with the attack.

Reliving the attack, Mrs O'Shea said: "I was at home on my computer at about 1am when Charlie, my pet terrier, started growling.

"For a second, I thought something must have blown over outside and scared him.

"But when I looked up, I saw a man standing in the kitchen holding a weapon. It looked like a hurley or a piece of wood."

He then attacked Doreen and Charlie.

"I'm not sure how long it lasted, a few minutes, but it was the most horrific thing," said Doreen.

"He didn't say a word the entire time and eventually I played dead.

"I could feel him standing over me. Then I heard him walking away.

"When he left, I waited in the quiet until I was sure he had gone. I scooted myself to the living room and it was then that I realised both my arms were broken. Luckily, my index finger was working so I was able to call the Garda and an ambulance.

"I didn't feel pain, only terror. I was so afraid that he would come back and finish me off."

Ms O'Shea spent three weeks recovering in St Vincent's Hospital.

Speaking from her house, she said: "Nobody is going to scare me out of my own home.

Evil

"My attacker never asked me where my jewellery or anything was. My phone, wallet and laptop were all on the coffee table but he didn't take anything. It just makes no sense. This man is evil."

She recognised her attacker and said her statement helped gardai charge him with other offences.

However, she claims he has never been punished for what he did to her and she feels let down.

"I've been told that there isn't enough evidence to link him to what happened to me but it helped them to bring other charges against him.

"I've been let down by gardai. I let them come into my house, take evidence and I haven't got anywhere.

"The reason they're giving for him not being convicted was they said I identified someone else - but I drew a picture of him. I will never forget his face, height, colouring, everything.

"When I first found out I was raging but now I'm aghast. I've been brought up to believe and respect the gardai, to believe they would help me but now I feel let down.

Disfigured

"How could they leave me here with a titanium bar in my arm. It aches continuously and my ear is totally disfigured.

"I still get desperate headaches from my head being split open and I've had panic attacks.

"Then they tell me there's insufficient evidence. How is that right?"

A Garda spokesperson said it could not comment on cases involving "named individuals".

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