A MUM was hours from death when gardai found her bound and gagged by her boyfriend who had taken his own life.
Collette Keane (54) was only discovered when gardai checked her dead partner's mobile phone and broke their way into the house.
She had been tied up and gagged for almost two days at the couple's home.
Boyfriend Paul Timothy (47) had thrown himself off the Cliffs of Moher soon after leaving her to die in the house.
Mum-of-two Collette was today recovering from her injuries in hospital after gardai broke into her apartment at Anvil Court in the centre of Roscommon town at 1am on Thursday.
Gardai saved her life after recovering Mr Timothy’s SIM card from his pocket at the bottom of the Cliffs of Moher at around 4pm on Wednesday.
In one of the most bizarre cases being investigated by gardai this year, it has emerged that:
Ms Keane would still be bound and gagged at her home today if her partner's phone had not been registered to the address that she was found at.
After assaulting and tying up his partner, Paul Timothy went on a booze binge in Galway and called a close pal where he told him what he had done – but his friend refused to believe him and did not alert gardai.
Mr Timothy then travelled to the Cliffs of Moher where it is understood that he jumped into the Atlantic Ocean.
After recovering the body, quick-thinking gardai in Ennistymon, Co Clare, searched his clothes and discovered a mobile phone sim card. Follow-up investigations with a mobile phone company showed that the phone was registered to the apartment in Co Roscommon.
When officers arrived at Anvil Court, they discovered Ms Keane in a dehydrated and semi-conscious state and her arms, legs and head had been strapped to the bedpost with adhesive tape. A sponge had been placed in her mouth.
Detectives expect to interview Ms Keane later today about her horrific ordeal.
Sources say that while she had been assaulted by her partner, the actual injuries she suffered were minor in nature.
“It seems that he struck her a number of times in the head before tying her up,” said a source.
Officers believe that “a row got out of hand” between the couple who had been in a relationship for the past ten months.
Mr Timothy, an English national, is understood to have suffered from a severe alcohol problem. He had lived in Roscommon town for around a decade and was well known because he worked as a general handyman. He was known locally as ‘Paul the painter’.
It is understood that he carried out the attack on Ms Keane on Tuesday afternoon.
Ms Keane, who is understood to be separated from her husband, has lived in the two-bedroom apartment since 2009.
She had previously worked in the Tesco store in the town but was on leave from work when the incident took place.
A local man told the Herald today: “Paul was a personal friend of mine and I worked with him for a number of years. I just don’t understand why he did what he did but he must have had a mental breakdown.
“I blame the recession because he would have had money problems because work was scarce. He was a generous man who was always good to work for and he paid people well.
“He enjoyed a drink. Some people said he had a drink problem but I think he was just looking for a bit of comfort in hard times. But he was very proud and never signed on the dole,” he said.