Wednesday 13 December 2017

Gardaí hunt two men for assault on sisters after meeting first on Facebook

Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen

Gardaí are hunting two career criminals after a horrific attack on two young Dublin sisters.

The Tallaght women who found themselves at the centre of the terrifying ordeal, last night revealed that they also suffered painful knife wounds during their attack.

Gardai are attempting to track down the thugs who left Amy (21) and Nicole Rice (19) in hospital with severe injuries.

Amy has said her younger sister Nicole was stabbed  during their  24-hour nightmare incident.  She said she also suffered some minor cuts.

"They held a knife to my neck, she told the Irish Independent, "and cut my midsection. But Nicole got a deep wound at the back of her leg."

The pair agreed to meet with two men whom they initially spoke to through Facebook almost three weeks ago.

Nicole (19) pictured before the attack
Nicole (19) pictured before the attack

Amy said the pair seemed nice, and they arranged to travel to Newbridge, Co Kildare for a drink last Thursday night.

They met the two men, aged 25 and 27, at a bus stop and arrived at the apartment in Newbridge town centre shortly after 7.30pm.

Amy (21) pictured before the attack
Amy (21) pictured before the attack

Soon after, Amy said one of the men, who is originally from Crumlin started “acting weird.”

“His demeanour changed, and he started talking about how he had been in jail before,” she said.

At around 8pm the men launched into a frenzied attack on the two young woman - tying them up and gagging them in the process.

The men believed to be responsible for the attack are from the Crumlin and Lucan areas of the city.

The 25-year-old Crumlin man was released from prison a number of months ago. It is understood that he suffered knife wounds while in jail last October at the hands of a well-known criminal.

Nicole said her attackers were involved with a previous row with Amy's ex-boyfriend. However, she says the row was over and insists that she had never met the pair until they contacted her through Facebook.

Gardai have confirmed that the apartment on Francis Lane, Newbridge, where the incident occurred has been sealed off.

A source revealed that when they arrived they found that the locks had been changed and that the men were nowhere to be found.

They also said the men, both of whom are "very well known" to gardai, had made an attempt to clean the flat.

However, blood was found in the rented property.

Speaking from their hospital bed last night Amy said they were recovering well but feared being released.

"We are very sore," she said, "but we are worried about what will happen when we get released from the hospital.

"We have been threatened and told not to go back to Tallaght for talking to the guards."

The girls fear that they were drugged during the ordeal as they lost consciousness a number of times.

However, they say they may also have passed out as a result of the beating.

Amy also fears she was raped after she woke up the following morning still tied up but without her underwear.

She has undergone a number of sexual assault tests and is awaiting the results.

Amy has suffered a suspected fractured jaw. Nicole has received a broken nose. Both siblings suffered severe head and facial injuries.

The sisters say the men worked themselves into a frenzy during the attack and asked them to ring  “someone with money to pay a ransom” which would set them free.

But when the sisters said they didn’t have any money in their family, they were beaten further.

“They thought it was hilarious, they started ringing this woman and had her on loudspeaker and she kept saying let me hear them scream.

“Nicole made a run to the corridor and fell on the stairs trying to get away and passed out at the bottom.

“They thought she was dead and started ringing people on the phone and saying they needed to dig holes in the Wicklow mountains as they didn’t know what to do with these girls,” Amy said.

Amy says the last thing she remembered was her sister’s lifeless body lying at the bottom of the stairs before she blacked out during another beating.

“I was so scared,” said brave Amy, “I thought we were going to die, I was full sure they were going to kill us.”

Nicole woke up hours later in bed beside her sister.

She said as she was not tied up she desperately tried to untie her sister but the men, who were sleeping beside them, woke and the assaults started again.

“This was at about 6am (Friday morning),” Nicole said.

“They started lining us up against the wall and taking pictures and sending to friends of what they had done to us. They were really proud of it.

“They eventually let us go at about 3pm in the afternoon and said if we went to the guards they would kill us and our family.

“They had rang people and found out information about us - they knew our dad was in hospital and everything.”

Covered in blood, the sisters ran out of the apartment and a man, driving by with two children, stopped and brought them straight to hospital.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information, particularly the man who transported the injured women to the hospital   to contact them at Newbridge Garda Station on 045 - 440180, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any Garda Station.

Irish Independent

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