Saturday 24 August 2019

'By releasing photos I can take a stand against abuse' - victim of brutal attack

‘It has to stop’: Kerrie Gamble wanted images of her injuries to be made public to campaign against abuse. Photo: Medical Photography Ireland
‘It has to stop’: Kerrie Gamble wanted images of her injuries to be made public to campaign against abuse. Photo: Medical Photography Ireland
Threat to kill: Barry O’Donoghue was described as a dangerous individual by a Garda source
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A brave victim of domestic abuse said the assault will live with her long after her ex-partner is released from jail.

Barry O'Donoghue (38) was yesterday sentenced to five years' imprisonment after being found guilty of assaulting and threatening to kill Kerrie Gamble.

Ms Gamble was kicked in the head, punched and stamped on during a prolonged assault, during which O'Donoghue said: "Tonight is your execution."

Today, the Irish Independent reveals the pictures which show the extent of the injuries suffered by Ms Gamble.

She suffered serious facial wounds during the attack on October 20, 2016, at her Drimnagh home, which included a broken eye socket and nerve damage to her face.

Ms Gamble said she wanted images of her injuries published in a bid to stand up against domestic abuse and urge other victims to come forward.

Bail revoked: Barry O’Donoghue outside court in Dublin
Bail revoked: Barry O’Donoghue outside court in Dublin

"I have made the difficult decision to release photographs of some of the injuries I sustained on the night I was attacked by Barry O'Donoghue.

"This was not an easy decision for me but I firmly believe that standing up to domestic violence is more important," Ms Gamble said.

"Although I know now that what happened to me is not my fault, I also know my fear and my silence allowed my abuse to carry on for several years.

"I may never be able to rid myself of the fear I suffer every day, but I can take back my silence by releasing these photos, and telling everyone this is what happened to me and this is still happening to others, and it has to stop."

The 36-year-old Dublin woman also said the attack would stay with her long after O'Donoghue is released from prison.

"While I take comfort in how seriously the judge addressed this matter, I cannot help but feel somewhat disappointed in the sentencing," she said.

"This will haunt me for a lot longer then the prison sentence he received."

O'Donoghue, of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, but originally from Co Carlow, was sentenced to a total of five years for assault causing harm and making a threat to kill.

Judge Elma Sheahan sentenced him to three years for the assault. She also sentenced O'Donoghue to five-and-a-half years' imprisonment for threatening to kill Ms Gamble, which was suspended for six months and will run concurrently with the assault sentence.

A senior source last night praised investigating gardaí for their work in getting a successful prosecution.

"Gardaí went to great lengths in their investigation to secure a conviction against O'Donoghue. He is a dangerous individual and the injuries sustained on the victim that night are testament to that," the source said.

During the trial, Gda Keith O'Brien, of Sundrive Road garda station, gave evidence of how O'Donoghue beat Ms Gamble and kicked her, before telling her: "Tonight is your execution."

Ms Gamble said she did not know how she made it out of that night alive.

She had a recurring nightmare in which she saw her gravestone with the date October 20. It disappears and she hears O'Donoghue's voice telling her he would bury her where no one would find her.

Irish Independent

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