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Sunday 11 December 2016

Gardaí probe if hot water used in attack as Simone (37) still in coma

Published 29/11/2016 | 02:30

Simone Lee
Simone Lee

A woman viciously attacked in her home remains in an induced coma with severe burn injuries.

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Gardaí are investigating if hot water was used in the assault on Simone Lee (37) in her Limerick city home over the weekend.

She suffered severe burns, stab wounds to her head and back, and was struck a number of times.

Gardaí have not yet been able to speak to the victim, who is being treated in University Hospital Limerick.

The incident happened on Saturday night and Ms Lee is understood to be in a stable condition.

Arrested

Garda forensic officers at Hassetts Villas, Thomondgate, in Limerick where Simone Lee was attacked on Saturday night. Photo: Frank McGrath
Garda forensic officers at Hassetts Villas, Thomondgate, in Limerick where Simone Lee was attacked on Saturday night. Photo: Frank McGrath

A 28-year-old man, also from Limerick, was arrested by investigating officers.

He was quizzed at Henry Street garda station and released without charge yesterday.

A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The course of the Garda investigation will be determined once investigators are able to interview Ms Lee.

Garda forensic officers at Hassetts Villas, Thomondgate, in Limerick where Simone Lee was attacked on Saturday night. Photo: Frank McGrath
Garda forensic officers at Hassetts Villas, Thomondgate, in Limerick where Simone Lee was attacked on Saturday night. Photo: Frank McGrath

Officers from the Garda Technical Bureau are expected to examine the scene at the first-floor apartment at Hassetts Villas in Thomondgate on the northside of Limerick again today after spending several hours there yesterday.

A specialist team of investigators from Dublin are assisting local garda personnel in gathering evidence in the case.

Ms Lee was discovered by paramedics in the apartment at 12.40am on Sunday morning.

Gardaí have not yet established when exactly and how Ms Lee was assaulted or if she had been asleep when the incident occurred.

One theory being investigated is that hot water was used in the assault.

However, investigations to date have not yet concluded and this has yet to be fully determined.

A friend who worked nearby said all were thinking of Ms Lee and described her as a "lovely, quiet lady".

"We are very concerned for Simone and hope she pulls through this. It is shocking that this has happened," she said.

"We have spoken with Simone's family and naturally they are very distraught about what has happened.

"Our thoughts are with them all.

"It is hard to believe that this could happen so close to us here in the centre of Limerick."

The scene on the city's northside remained sealed off yesterday and gardaí conducted house to house inquiries in the area.

Members of the Garda Technical Bureau could be seen photographing the interior of the building and around the smashed upstairs window at the front of the flat.

Glass from the broken window littered the street below.

Family members are being kept informed of any change in Ms Lee's condition, and it is understood her medical team at University Hospital Limerick has liaised with colleagues in Cork University Hospital regarding the treatment of her burns.

Investigations are ongoing but it is understood gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the assault.

Gardaí at Mayorstone garda station (061456980) have appealed for information from members of the public or anyone who was in the Thomondgate area at the time.

Irish Independent

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