Tuesday 26 September 2017

Criminal who beat woman (89) in robbery could be jailed for life

Michael Cash (left) and Jamie O'Brien (right). Eva Sutton Inset
Michael Cash (left) and Jamie O'Brien (right). Eva Sutton Inset
Career criminal Michael Cash was on bail when he broke into the home of Eva Sutton, who was left with broken bones

Robin Schiller

A career criminal who tied up an elderly woman with dog leads before violently assaulting her and burgling her home faces a potential life sentence later this month.

Michael Cash (25) was on bail when he broke into the home of Eva Sutton - who was then aged 89 - before subjecting her to a 90-minute ordeal during which she suffered broken bones and a punctured lung.

Earlier this year, Cash admitted to false imprisonment, burglary and serious assault causing harm to Ms Sutton at her home on the Dublin Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, on September 10, 2015.

He has more than 90 previous convictions. The case was called before Wicklow Circuit Court yesterday morning, where a sentencing date was set for July 25.

Cash, of Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, now faces a lengthy jail term with the maximum penalty for false imprisonment being life.

Earlier this year his co-accused, Jamie O'Brien (23), received a 10-year jail term with the final two years suspended.

Career criminal Michael Cash was on bail when he broke into the home of Eva Sutton, who was left with broken bones
Career criminal Michael Cash was on bail when he broke into the home of Eva Sutton, who was left with broken bones

O'Brien, of Hazelwood, Bray, has 30 previous convictions, including 12 for burglary, and was also on bail at the time of the horrific incident.

The two serial offenders kicked through the front door of Ms Sutton's home at 4.30am on the day of the incident, and left at 6.03am.

The elderly victim tried to call for help by pressing a panic button attached to her necklace, but her attackers ripped the alarm from her neck.

They then tied up the frail lady with dog leads and belts before assaulting her and ransacking her home.

Ms Sutton managed to release the straps and get outside where a garda patrol car happened to be passing by.

At O'Brien's sentencing hearing in April, Judge Michael O'Shea described the incident as a "degrading, humiliating, horrific, shocking and terrifying ordeal". "These offences have simply ruined her life," Judge O'Shea remarked.

The court heard Ms Sutton was beaten and kicked in the head and chest despite pleading with the men to stop.

The elderly woman, who lived alone, suffered seven broken ribs, a punctured lung and injuries to her body and face, which needed stitches.

The judge said Ms Sutton told the men she was dying, but it made no difference to them.

Senior sources also praised the work carried out by investigating officers at Bray station, including the local detective unit, which ensured an enormous amount of evidence was gathered against the accused.

Irish Independent

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