Sunday 25 February 2018

Man arrested for violent hijacking in Ballsbridge that left woman unconscious

Liz Turley was assaulted and her car stolen outside this Ballsbridge house
Liz Turley was assaulted and her car stolen outside this Ballsbridge house
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Gardai investigating the violent hijacking of a car in Ballsbridge in which a woman was knocked unconscious have arrested a man.

Liz Turley (59) was at the gates of her Argyle House apartment complex in Ballsbridge just before 2pm on Monday last week when two car-jackers struck.

The man and woman jumped into her car as she was entering the code for the electric gates and went to drive away in her car, a grey Ford Focus.

Ms Turley then approached the driver's side of the car in an effort to stop the pair but she was pushed away aggressively by the man.

She fell and hit her head on the kerb, was knocked unconscious and sustained serious head injuries.

Gardai last night arrested a suspect who was being held today for questioning.

The 32-year-old man is originally from Inchicore and was picked up in the city centre at 7.40pm.

He was in the company of a woman at the time but his female companion was ruled-out of the investigation.

The suspect  was taken to Irishtown garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Ms Turley works as senior librarian. She is also a member of the Ballsbridge, Donnybrook and Sandymount Historical Society.

The incident as she returned home from an Easter break with family in the west.

A fellow resident of the Argyle House complex last week told how Ms Turley was unconscious for a while after the attack.

“I called the ambulance and the gardai. She slowly began to come to, but she could not remember her name,” he said.

The neighbour said the culprits had not covered their faces.

He believed they were looking for a car, had watched the area and deliberately targeted Ms Turley.

The victim is still recovering from her injuries and was said to be shocked and traumatised by the incident.

Her family reported that Ms Turley didn't require any surgery but was likely to be kept in St Vincent’s hospital for a while.

“We are just so thankful that she is okay. We cannot believe what happened to her,” said a family member.

The first breakthrough in the case came last Tuesday when Ms Turley’s car was found parked in the car park of the Cuffe Street flats in the south inner city.

CCTV as well as witness accounts formed the main focus of the investigation, and the car was also forensically examined by the garda technical bureau.

A motive for the theft is not yet known, but one possibility is that the car-jackers targeted Ms Turley opportunistically because she was vulnerable and out of her car.

Gardai are waiting to interview her when she is well enough.

Irish Independent

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