Wednesday 11 December 2019

Net closes on football star's knife attacker

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Officers investigating the frenzied stabbing attack on Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper are anxious for an early arrest as the thug is regarded as highly dangerous and could strike again.

Gardai say they are satisfied with the progress made in their inquiries since the attack in the early hours of Saturday last.

But they are appealing for further help from the public to help them track down the vicious attacker, whose motive was robbery.

The 24-year-old GAA star, right, was slashed nine times in the head and neck as he crouched down to protect himself from his assailant.

Read more: Bernard Brogan: Jonny Cooper was very lucky he didn't lose an eye during stabbing

Gardai have been studying footage from CCTV cameras in the Dorset Street area of Dublin's north inner city in an effort to identify the attacker.

Additional footage, which they believe will boost officers' investigations, has also been obtained. They are also awaiting the completion of a number of forensic examinations.

From the footage studied so far, they believe that the attacker is Irish.

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A senior garda told the Irish Independent last night: "We would like to thank those members of the public, who have come forward to date as their assistance has been very useful.

"But we believe there are others out there, who could fill in more of the gaps and we now appeal to them to contact us with any piece of information they might have, irrespective of how minor they might regard it."

Gardai have already received a big response to the highlighting of the attack on RTE's 'CrimeCall' programme on Monday night.

Mr Cooper had been on a night out with friends after his club, Na Fianna, had played in the Dublin championship on Friday night.

He was on his way home at around 5am on Saturday and was sitting on steps outside a house in Dorset Street when his attacker ran across the road and, totally unprovoked, began stabbing him and demanding his wallet.

The thug then ran off with the wallet, which contained very little money.

Gardai said all of the available evidence indicated that robbery was the sole motive but they were shocked by the sustained violence of the stabbing.

Mr Cooper was hospitalised as a result of the attack but was allowed home after treatment.

He is currently recovering from his ordeal and has declined to comment on the incident. But his sister, Jules said: "Jonny is extremely lucky and he's doing well.

"He's feeling okay. He is also quite a strong character and is in good form, considering what he went through."

In an earlier Twitter message to his supporters, Jonny said:"Absolutely humbled by the msgs & calls over last few hours. Thank you all. I have an amazing group of friends."

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