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Sunday 18 March 2018

Two men arrested in connection to vicious attack on heavily pregnant woman

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

GARDAI arrested two men in connection with a vicious street attack on a pregnant woman.

The men, both in their early 20s, were arrested in Cork for questioning in relation to the unprovoked assault on the 25 year old Latvian mother of one who is six months pregnant.

The attack occurred on Sunday, November 29 as Sintija was walking home from work.

Sintija does not want her surname published or her photo published for fear of being identified and possibly targeted again.

She was punched in the face by one young man who was standing with two others on Princes Street in Cork city centre as she walked past them around 7.15pm.

The group stood and waited to see what the shocked woman’s reaction would be – but then fled when furious onlookers rushed to help the pregnant woman.

Both were arrested at different locations in Cork city and questioned at the Bridewell Garda Station.

They were later released without charge.

A file on the matter will now be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Sintija vowed that the incident will not force her out of Ireland – but admitted she feels very lucky that all she suffered in the incident was minor cuts and bruising to her cheek and jaw.

"I am six months pregnant and was wearing a heavy coat because of the wind and cold."

"As I was walking up the street alone a teen came over and, as I passed, punched me in the face."

"I didn't fall to the ground. I was very shocked. There were three or maybe four of them."

"They just stood there. I think they were watching me to see what I would do or say to them."

She was punched despite no words having been exchanged.

Sintija said she was initially too shocked to react - but several pedestrians saw what had happened and immediately ran to her aid.

Princes Street and Oliver Plunkett Street was crowded at the time with Christmas shoppers, workers heading home and revellers heading to Cork's Glow Christmas Festival on the nearby Grand Parade.

"One or two men ran towards me. One of them, Derek, started roaring at the teens and they immediately ran away."

"Derek and then Con came over to help me. I was shocked and upset but I did not need to go to hospital."

Luckily, she managed to keep her feet and did not fall to the concrete pavement.

Sintija, who moved to Ireland from Latvia six years ago, just wanted to go home to her husband and five year old son.

"Derek and Con were very kind. They helped me and made sure I was OK," she said.

But when she awoke the following morning, her face was swollen and bruised from the blow she received.

She also found it sore to speak or eat.

Sintija said she is just relieved it was her face rather than her stomach which took the blow.

The young mother said the attack was totally unprovoked and she does not believe it was the prelude to a robbery.

"I don't think so. I think it may have been drink or maybe drugs. I was wearing a heavy coat so maybe they did not even know I was pregnant," she said.

Gardai said they have been "absolutely overwhelmed" by information from the public since an appeal was issued.

CCTV security camera footage is now expected to play a crucial role in their investigation.

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