Wednesday 17 January 2018

Attack on pensioner the worst fear of many

Many older people living alone worry that they will be targeted by heartless thugs
Many older people living alone worry that they will be targeted by heartless thugs

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

It is rare that an event occurs which leaves the entire country in shock but last year's brutal attack on Bray pensioner Eva Sutton in her own home struck terror into the hearts of many.

Last week, Michael Cash - a man with no less than 96 previous convictions was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with the final two suspended for his role in the horrific incident.

He was the second person to be convicted in relation to the hour and a half long torture of this poor lady after co-accused Jamie O'Brien was sentenced earlier this year.

The vicious and terrifying nature of this attack on Ms Sutton was hard for many to hear and for many it epitomised their worst fears.

For many older people in particular, living alone in Ireland goes hand in hand with this massive worry and fear that they will be targeted by heartless thugs.

Ms Sutton's evidence was heart-breaking and to think that even when an 89 year-old lady begged them to stop beating her and told them she was dying that they still continued.

Her strength and courage are admirable because she kept going and she somehow managed to get through the physical trauma and heal.

The mental trauma however, is something that no 89 year-old could get over as quickly and the reality is that Ms Sutton was so terrified and traumatised by what happened in her beloved home of 50 years that she never returned.

Those monsters violated her independence and freedom and drove her out of the one place that she should have felt comfortable and safe.

While the bruises have faded, the scars on Ms Sutton are much deeper and that attack changed her life irrevocably.

Listening to her speak following the conviction of her attacker, it struck me that this lady has more courage, grace and bravery than those who prey on vulnerable older people will ever have.

There is scarcely a more cowardly act that what Cash and O'Brien did to Ms Sutton.

In her victim impact statement, Ms Sutton outlined that she wished she had died that day, such is the trauma she is living with.

Her attackers have to live with that guilt and with the shame of what they have done.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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