Thursday 19 September 2019

'I still get flashbacks of horror attack' - victim of sex attacker at Luas stop

Ruth Maxwell. Pic: courtesy rte
Ruth Maxwell. Pic: courtesy rte
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A woman who fended off an attacker after she was set upon while on her way to a Luas stop has described how she broke down on hearing he planned to use cable ties.

The criminal (34) was last week sentenced to 18-and-a-half years for false imprisonment, sexual assault and assault of three women in separate attacks around west Dublin in 2011, 2015 and 2016. A temporary ban has been placed on naming the man for legal reasons.

One of his victims, Ruth Maxwell, described how she was in hospital speaking to detectives when one of them got a call.

"During that statement she got a phone call from somebody up at the scene and all I could hear is 'cable ties' on the other end of the line," she said.

"I broke down crying. Because I knew, I'd never have been able to deal with the cable ties scenario."

Ms Maxwell said she still gets flashbacks of the attack.

"I don't have hatred. I'm angry, but I'm articulating myself in the right areas," she said.

"I have fear but I'll do the same in those areas. One of my biggest fears is those cable ties, so I'd like to meet with somebody to do demonstrations how to get out of cable ties, so that's another fear gone.

"I don't want to be carrying fears around with me."

She also spoke about how the attack unfolded in 2016.

"I had my headphones in listening to David Bowie. It was a beautiful, sunny day," she told Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio 1.

"The hands went around me. A cloth in the left hand, a knife in the right hand to my cheek and my chin.

"He couldn't get the cloth over my face because my hand was under my handbag on my shoulder so I was using my elbow to fend that off.


"But then when he pulled me back, I staggered two steps and the knife came down to my throat.

"I just took my hand out from under the shoulder strap and grabbed the blade and, just as hard as I could, I pulled it down."

Ms Maxwell described how she suffered serious injuries as she defended herself, severing the tendons on three fingers.

She began to scream as she pulled the knife down and it was at that point her attacker turned and ran.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News