Friday 9 December 2016

'No evidence of weapon being used' in horrific attack on student

Tom Brady and Conor Feehan

Published 24/11/2016 | 02:30

Maynooth law student Kym Owens suffered severe injuries
Maynooth law student Kym Owens suffered severe injuries

Gardaí have not found any evidence that a weapon was used in the savage assault on a teenage law student who was attacked as she walked home.

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Detectives are still awaiting permission from doctors to interview Kym Owens (18), who is in an intensive care unit at Blanchardstown Hospital in west Dublin.

Supt Gerry Wall speaks to the media in the Moyglare Abbey estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted on Sunday evening. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Supt Gerry Wall speaks to the media in the Moyglare Abbey estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted on Sunday evening. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Gardaí are being briefed on the outcome of medical examinations to determine how her wounds were inflicted.

Investigating officers said they were keeping an open mind on the circumstances surrounding the attack on the Moyglare Abbey housing estate in Maynooth, Co Kildare, on Sunday.

Gardaí in the Moyglare Abbey estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Gardaí in the Moyglare Abbey estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted. Photo: Gerry Mooney

But they have widened their inquiries as they try to find any witness who could help solve the mystery. Ms Owens is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering injuries to her eye sockets, nose and jaw. A number of her teeth were also damaged.

Read more: Attacker may have followed Maynooth student from bus - gardaí confirm

There is no evidence so far that a weapon was used. Ms Owens was making her way to her lodgings in Maynooth when she was attacked.

She was walking through the estate at around 8.30pm on Sunday after returning by bus to Maynooth following a weekend visit to her family in Co Monaghan.

Garda forensic officers wash blood away from the scene of the attack. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Garda forensic officers wash blood away from the scene of the attack. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

Gardaí are still trying to contact all of the passengers on the bus, which made several stops, including in Clones, Castleblayney and Ardee.

Detectives have ruled out robbery as a motive for the attack.

The scene of the incident in Maynooth, Co Kildare (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)
The scene of the incident in Maynooth, Co Kildare (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)

They want to know if Ms Owens had been talking to anybody on the bus or on her way to the estate before the incident.

Checks have also been made among her friends and other law students at the university while additional personnel have been drafted in to the area from throughout the eastern Garda region to help with door-to-door inquiries in Moyglare Abbey and along her route home.

Investigators said they were following several lines of inquiry into the attack and that the bus Ms Owens took from Monaghan was just one of the lines being examined.

Supt Gerry Wall of Leixlip garda station said: "The victim had been on that bus so naturally we have to look at that.

The scene of the incident in Maynooth, Co Kildare (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)
The scene of the incident in Maynooth, Co Kildare (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)

"CCTV from the bus and other areas in Maynooth is being examined, but we are urging people to keep an open mind on this."

Supt Wall said the response from the public had been very good, adding that gardaí were also liaising with Maynooth University staff and students.

"We've had a great reaction from the college and the public, and we encourage anyone who knows or saw anything to come forward," he said.

Gardaí asked anybody with information to contact the investigation headquarters at Leixlip station, on 01 6667800.

Irish Independent

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