Saturday 18 November 2017

Woman in horror knife attack is freed after having a baby


Assault victim, Jennifer Bray
Assault victim, Jennifer Bray

A woman who viciously slashed a journalist's face with a Stanley knife has been released early from prison after becoming pregnant while out on temporary release.

Ruth Barry (36), of Moy Elta Road, East Wall, was sentenced to seven years, with 18-months suspended, for the vicious attack on award-winning journalist Jennifer Bray in 2012.

Ms Bray, deputy political editor with the Irish Daily Mail, was in the queue at McDonald's on O'Connell Street with friends, Neil Callanan and Sarah Furlong, when a dispute occurred on June 25, 2010.

Barry accused Ms Bray of punching her in the stomach during the minor spat.

A short time later, Barry and her then boyfriend, Jonathan O'Brien, followed the three friends outside to where they had hailed a taxi.

Barry then punched Ms Bray and headbutted Ms Furlong. Mr Callanan tried to stop the assault and mum-of-two Barry bit him. She then slashed Bray's face.

In March last year, Barry was granted temporary release from the Dochas Centre to attend a family event.

During her release, she fell pregnant and was released again in December to give birth. However, prison sources have revealed it is unlikely that she will see the inside of a cell again.

"Ms Barry has been granted reviewable temporary release that will be looked at on a week-to-week basis," said a source.

"She was due to be released at the end of the year, but as long as she doesn't mess up she is out for good now."

Speaking to the Herald in 2012, Ms Bray described the 2010 attack.

"I was thrown against a wall by the woman and her boyfriend, who I know now to be Ruth and Jonathan," she said.

"I heard a click, closed my eyes and felt an ice-cold sensation across my face.

"She [Barry] brought that rusty Stanley blade from the top of my nose, between my eyes, down under my left eye and in a semi-circle down my cheek. It eventually stopped just under my jawline.

"When I opened my eyes, I looked down to see orange liquid pouring over my chest and on to my hands."

Ms Bray then collapsed on the ground and was mugged by Barry, who stole her phone.

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