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Wife of man stabbed to death in raid has surgery

THE wife of an Irishman stabbed to death in Australia has undergone plastic surgery for injuries she sustained during a botched raid.

Dermot O'Toole (64) was killed by an armed intruder as he came to the aid of his wife Bridget in their jewellery store in Melbourne on Friday.

Mr O'Toole's death has shocked the Melbourne community of Hastings – where he has lived with his wife and three sons for over 20 years.

A court heard on Monday that 26-year-old Australian, Gavin Perry, is alleged by police to have stolen just $AUS200 (€140) in the raid.

He has been charged with Mr O'Toole's murder and is also facing charges of armed robbery and causing serious injury to Bridget O'Toole.

Ms O'Toole (63) spent several days in hospital recovering from the ordeal and was required to receive plastic surgery for her injuries.

She was being comforted by her three adult sons today, while her sister has also flown out from Dublin.

"Dermot would have been very close to all our family and he was very proud of his Dublin heritage and never lost his accent," a loved one said.

Blood

Mr O'Toole's death has sparked a wave of grief and condemnation in Australia.

Hundreds of floral tributes have been left at The Jewel Shed store – which he owned.

"Everyone is shocked at the tragedy – but it is uniting the town," according to local business leader Alf Tallon.

"Everyone wants the family to know that they are loved and Dermot will be missed."

Australian police allege that Perry robbed the O'Tooles' business of jewellery valued at €140 on Friday evening.

In the court appearance on Monday, prosecutor Patrick O'Halloran said that Perry had been seen by five people at the scene of the alleged robbery.

It was also claimed that the accused was captured by two separate CCTV cameras.

Neighbouring businesses came to the aid of the elderly couple. They found Mr and Mrs O'Toole lying on the floor covered in blood.

A passer-by administered first aid to the couple until paramedics arrived. A number of locals gave chase to the assailant but he escaped in a nearby car. It was later found burnt out.

noconnor@herald.ie


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