Tuesday 24 October 2017

Man who left woman tied up drank heavily

Cliffs of Moher suicide victim went on bender before death

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

Paul Timothy, the man who left Collette Keane bound and gagged in her Roscommon home for two days last week, had been on an alcoholic bender before he committed suicide, it has emerged.

Timothy, who was originally from Manchester and worked as a handyman in Roscommon town for over 20 years, phoned a man in Roscommon to tell him about the state he had left Ms Keane in. However, it appears the man did not believe him because Timothy was prone to heavy drinking and making irrational statements.

When the man heard that Timothy's body had been recovered from the sea at the Cliffs of Moher he told gardai about the call -- but they were already breaking into Ms Keane's apartment in Anvil Court in Roscommon town having recovered a SIM card from his body after he jumped off the cliffs.

She was freed at 1am on Thursday, after being found in a bedroom of her home in Roscommon, tied to the bed and gagged.

She was still ill in hospital yesterday and gardai are waiting until she recovers before speaking to her.

They said it was fortunate that Timothy's body was recovered so quickly by the Doolin lifeboat crew and his relations in Roscommon were contacted -- which led to the discovery of the bound woman.

Ms Keane, 53, a separated mother of two, was severely dehydrated after being left gagged and tied with rope and tape for two days. A sponge had been stuffed into her mouth and gardai believe she was assaulted before being tied up.

It is understood that Timothy, 47, left Roscommon after tying up Ms Keane and travelled to Galway, where he spent the day drinking.

When he began running out of money, he caught the tourist bus to the Cliffs of Moher on Wednesday and was reported missing when he failed to catch the bus back.

It is understood that he was noticed as being in an agitated state on the bus and raised suspicions when he walked off alone along the cliffs.

Local people said Ms Keane and Timothy had a relationship in the past year but did not live together.

They were shocked by the events and said Timothy was well liked and known in the town for being a good painter and doing good housework, although he did have a drink problem.

He grew up in Manchester but his family are originally from Roscommon and he had extended family in the county.

Local councillor Dominick Connolly said Ms Keane, who is originally from Tipperary, was well known and liked in the town. She had worked in a local supermarket but had left because of a shoulder injury. He added that Timothy was "just a lovely fella" and held in high esteem in the town.

Neighbours described Ms Keane as a very private person who did not go out much. She has injuries to her ankles and wrists from struggling to free herself and was severely dehydrated and traumatised by her ordeal.

Gardai and emergency services say the issue of suicide is one of the most serious they have to contend with.

The rate of road deaths had traditionally been higher than suicides but with only 161 deaths on the roads this year, the rate of suicide is running at over three times this level.

Sunday Independent

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