Tuesday 23 May 2017

Jail for burglar who 'tortured and taunted' 89-year-old Eva in brutal attack

Warning: Graphic photographs of injuries

Burglary victim Eva Sutton was viciously beaten in her home
Burglary victim Eva Sutton was viciously beaten in her home
Eva Sutton

Rory Tevlin

A man who brutally attacked an 89-year-old woman in her home has been handed an eight-year jail term.

Jamie O'Brien (22), formerly of Hazelwood, Fassaroe, Bray, Co Wicklow, was one of two men who broke into the home of pensioner Eva Sutton in the early hours of September 15, 2015.

They tied her up, beat her and ransacked the house in a raid that lasted 90 minutes.

O'Brien was before Judge Michael O'Shea yesterday at Wicklow Circuit Court for sentencing. He entered a plea of guilty last December to burglary, false imprisonment and serious assault causing harm.

Eva Sutton
Eva Sutton

"It is unimaginable that any human being could subject another human being to such a degrading, humiliating, horrific, shocking and terrifying ordeal," Judge O'Shea said.

He said that the raid ruined Ms Sutton's life.

Garda Patrick Milward told the court that at the time of the offence Ms Sutton lived alone in her home on Dublin Road in Bray, where she had been for more than 50 years.

The court was told that Ms Sutton was in bed when O'Brien and another man broke in at 4.38am.

Mrs Sutton heard a bang when the front door was kicked in and went down to investigate.

In a statement, she told gardaí: "They went for me and demanded money and jewellery. They were kicking me and put the hand of my walking stick around my neck. They were vicious with me.

"I was knocked to the ground. I said to them 'I'm dying, I'm dying', it made no difference to them.

"They kicked and hit me all over my body and tied me up in the hall. They dragged me by the hair into the sitting room, shoving me in."

When she asked them not to pull her by the hair, they stopped and started kicking her in the head and chest.

They couldn't find her bag, but did take her watch. "They did their best to pull my wedding ring off but did not succeed," she said.

The court was told that Ms Sutton was tied up with dog leads and belts, and the raiders left her in the sitting room before leaving the house.

Terrifying

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

Several items of jewellery, including an engagement ring, and £100 (€116) were taken in the burglary.

A medical report read to the court told how Ms Sutton was "tortured, taunted and dragged by her hair around her beloved home".

The court heard that Ms Sutton decided not to return to her house after the terrifying assault.

Judge O'Shea sentenced O'Brien to 10 years but suspended the final two. A second man awaits sentencing in the matter.

Irish Independent

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