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'Ordeal amounted to torture', says judge as thug is jailed for 8 years


Michael Cash, Eva Sutton's attacker.

Michael Cash, Eva Sutton's attacker.

Michael Cash, Eva Sutton's attacker.

A career criminal who assaulted and falsely imprisoned an 89-year-old grand- mother in her own home will serve at least eight years in prison.

Michael Cash (25), formerly of Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, Co Dublin, was sentenced for false imprisonment, burglary and the serious assault of Eva Sutton at her home in Old Dublin Road, Bray.


Accomplice Jamie O’Brien. Photo: INM

Accomplice Jamie O’Brien. Photo: INM

Accomplice Jamie O’Brien. Photo: INM

Cash, a father-of-one, was not supported in court and sat impassively as the judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison with the final two years suspended.

His accomplice, Jamie O'Brien (23), also received a 10-year jail term with the final two years suspended in April.

Judge Michael Walsh told Wicklow Circuit Court that the attack on Ms Sutton was savagery and amounted to "torture".

He described Ms Sutton, who is now 91, as a "wonderfully independent woman" who had been in a position to look after herself and live alone in her own home.

"This was savagely and brutally interrupted on the date in question," he said.

Gda Tom Bissett, of Bray Garda Station, told the court that Cash had 96 previous convictions, of which 29 related to burglary and theft.

He said Cash was on bail at the time of the savage attack.

Cash and O'Brien broke into Ms Sutton's home shortly before 5am on September 10, 2015, and subjected her to a 90-minute ordeal during which she was tied up, beaten and told she would be killed or shot.

The pensioner pleaded for the men to stop, but instead she was kicked in the chest and head, dragged by her hair from room to room and tied up with dog leads.


They also beat her with her own walking stick and held it across her throat.

The pair falsely claimed to be members of the IRA in a further attempt to threaten and intimidate her.

The attack left Ms Sutton with broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken nose, cuts to her face and legs and severe bruising to her body.

The thugs did not show any mercy as they beat her, even though at one stage she told them: "I'm dying, I'm dying."

They escaped with money and valuables worth more than €6,000.

Most of the stolen items were never recovered.

In a victim impact statement read out by prosecutor Paul Murray, the court heard that Ms Sutton was now residing at Leopardstown Park Hospital.

"Eva wishes that she had died that morning," the statement said.

After a painstaking garda investigation led by officers at Bray Garda Station, a wealth of forensic evidence and DNA footage was gathered against Cash and O'Brien.

They were later arrested but made no admissions during garda interviews.

While being interrogated, Cash denied any involvement in the crime and described the attack on Ms Sutton as "sick".