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Irish physicist arrested in axe attack probe

A DUBLIN physicist has been arrested in Portugal after an alleged axe attack in a university on a woman lecturer.

Colin Paul Gloster (34) originally from Dublin, is accused of striking the lecturer's arm and hand before a student grabbed him.

A university spokesperson said the middle-aged academic was allegedly targeted in the bloody Monday afternoon attack after Mr Gloster, a former PhD student at the university, was refused a grant last year.

The spokesperson alleged "some threats" had previously been made by the former student.

Mr Gloster was remanded in police custody and appeared at Coimbra Criminal Court.

He was instructed to appear at the court every week and forbidden to "contact the victim by any means" and prohibited from entering the Coimbra University's physics department where he first enrolled in 2008.

The injured lecturer was taken to a Coimbra hospital.

Mr Gloster, who studied at Dublin City University, previously served an internship at the European Space Agency and was a researcher at the University of Pisa, Italy.

When contacted, a relative of Mr Gloster's told the Herald: "We don't know anything about this and it wouldn't be appropriate to comment."


In 2000, Mr Gloster wrote about his career frustrations: "Ever since I was a little boy I was big into space. I was seriously aiming to be an astronautical engineer instead of becoming a software engineer.

"A financial problem I found out about close to the end of my secondary school education proved too obstructive so I settled for the easy route ... I'm reading computer science at university instead."