Tuesday 12 December 2017

Assault victim says more gardaí needed

Jorge Roca pictured after the vicious attack in January 2012
Jorge Roca pictured after the vicious attack in January 2012
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A Spaniard subjected to an horrific street attack has warned that Irish cities and towns need to see more gardaí on patrol.

Jorge Roca (42) warned that Ireland must not tolerate a situation where gangs are roaming the streets of cities and towns to target people for robberies and gratuitous assaults.

"It is not safe. They are a lot of young people who are only there to fight and to attack and to steal," he said.

The Spanish chef had to have his skull reinforced with screws after being struck with a golf club and wooden samurai sword in a savage assault.

Jorge from Valencia in Spain was targeted in Cork in January 2012 because a gang of young men demanded cigarettes and a lighter from him as they passed on the street.

When he didn't have anything to satisfy their demands, they subjected him to a brutal attack he was lucky to survive.

Mr Roca insisted he still loves Ireland despite the unprovoked assault. Such was the damage to his skull, he lost his sense of taste - and eventually had to quit his job as a chef.

But he said the Irish authorities now need to adopt a get-tough approach to such unprovoked street attacks.

"It must not go on - the streets need to be safe for people to walk," he said.

In February 2013, two men were jailed for the attack on Mr Roca.

The two men, both Irish and aged 20, had a combined total of 133 previous convictions.

One was jailed for three years and the other for 18 months.

Mr Roca, who has been in Ireland for eight years, received a public apology in 2012 from then Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Terry Shannon.

Irish Independent

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