A quick thinking 12-year-old girl has told how she locked herself and her brother into her bedroom and frightened off armed thugs who burst into her family home in a terrifying raid.
Jasmine Lin (12) and her family were subjected to a frightening raid at their family home in Killycard, near Castleblayney, Co Monaghan on Sunday night.
The raid happened shortly before 5.30pm when the four men climbed a boundary fence beside the home of local business people Susan and Jason Lin at Killycard.
The youngster was at home with her little brother, her aunt, Tina Lin, and her own three children when the raid happened. In total there were five children – aged from 12 down to one – in the house at the time of the raid.
“Three men appeared at the door,” said the young girl, who was speaking on an interview with Today with Sean O’Rourke. “It was pitch dark and they stood at the door of my bedroom with tools and weapons. I thought it must have been a joke until I saw the hammers.
“They got me and my brother to sit us on the ground and asked us ‘where was the money’. My brother immediately started to cry. I was too shocked to cry or scream. I just stood there. I said if they 'wanted the money to go find my parents'. After that, they ignored me – one of them stood guard at my door,” she told the RTE Radio One programme in an exclusive interview.
The raiders asked Jasmine of there was anyone else in the house before they searched it.
“I told them my auntie was in the other room. One of them went to her and the other started to search the house.
“They went into my auntie's room and I guess because they thought because there was an adult in the room, there must be money. They knocked everything over. They wrecked the place. Then I decided to I needed to do something for us because I heard my auntie screaming.”
Jasmine waited until her guard was distracted by her aunt’s screams, whose face was being slashed by one of the thieves.
“I stood up and I pretended to be scared. I told them not to hurt my auntie.
“The guy guarding me said he wouldn’t hurt us and that he was ‘just there for the money’.
“My brother was really upset so I went over to him and patted him on the head. He heard my auntie screaming.”
When the raider was distracted by Tina Lin’s screams, Jasmine saw her opportunity to do something.
“He was distracted and I slammed the door. I locked the door. I screamed I was calling the guards so I dialled 999. I tried to call my parents. That was when my auntie ran into my room.
She described how the “blood was dripping down” her aunt’s face.
“That was when I was really terrified. I nearly hung up the phone on the guards because I was so upset but my auntie told me to keep talking and I was able to talk to the guards.”
Her aunt, Tina Lin, was treated for head wounds following the raid by men armed with an axe, a lump hammer, a crow bar and a screwdriver. The 26-year-old mother-of-three was hit across the head with the screwdriver in the terrifying attack.
Dad Jason Lin spoke of his pride at his daughter’s brave actions and revealed the family have CCTV footage of the incident.
“I am very proud of her. We have CCTV footage but all the raiders have masks on.”
Jasmine said that he aunt had to get stitches on her head.
It's not the first time that the Lin family have been targeted. Ten years ago, the family had been been subjected to a home raid when they lived in Bray, Co Wicklow.
On that occasion, Mr Lin’s brother was tied up in a raid by three armed men.
“It was three men with masks in the earlier raid with a handgun,” said Mr Lin. “They covered my brother’s eyes and tied him up and put him in the bath. They searched for everything in the house.”
Police have appealed for witnesses to Castleblayney raid and and anyone with information can contact Castleblayney gardai station on 042 974 0668, the Garda Confidential Line 1800666111 or any gardai station