Pregnant woman punched by teen in unprovoked attack
Published 01/12/2015 | 02:30
A pregnant mother of one vowed that an unprovoked street attack will not force her out of Ireland.
The 25-year-old Latvian mother said she loves Ireland and intends to remain here with her husband and young family despite an horrific unprovoked attack in Cork city centre which saw her punched in the face by a teenager.
Sintija, who is too frightened to give her surname or be photographed, admitted she feels very lucky that all she suffered in the incident which took place on Princes Street at 7.15pm last Sunday was minor cuts and bruising to her cheek and jaw.
"I was walking home when I came to Princes Street in the city centre," she said.
"I am six months' pregnant and was wearing a heavy coat because of the wind and cold.
"As I was walking up the street alone a teen came over and, as I passed, punched me in the face.
"I didn't fall to the ground. I was very shocked. There were three or maybe four of them. They just stood there. I think they were watching me to see what I would do or say to them."
Sintija was initially too shocked to react - but several pedestrians immediately ran to her aid. "One or two men ran towards me. One of them, Derek, started roaring at the teens and they immediately ran away.
"I was shocked and upset but I did not need to go to hospital."
Sintija, who moved to Ireland from Latvia six years ago, just wanted to go home to her husband and five-year-old son.
She said she is just relieved it was her face rather than her stomach which took the blow.
The young mother believes the teen's actions may have been triggered by drink or drugs.
Gardai are now investigating the incident and are examining CCTV security camera footage from the area.
One garda source said they are "very confident" the culprit will be identified and brought to justice."
"We have a lot of information and plenty of images to study from CCTV around the area. At this point, we would urge the individual to contact gardai before we trace them," he said.
Sintija said she was "very surprised" by the outpouring of sympathy and support from ordinary Cork people appalled by the attack.
"I like it in Ireland. I am raising my son here. I will not let this make me think about leaving. But I was very shocked by what happened," she said.