At­tack on pen­sioner the worst fear of many

Bray People - - OPINION -

IT is rare that an event oc­curs which leaves the en­tire coun­try in shock but last year’s bru­tal at­tack on Bray pen­sioner Eva Sut­ton in her own home struck ter­ror into the hearts of many. Last week, Michael Cash - a man with no less than 96 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions was sen­tenced to 10 years im­pris­on­ment with the fi­nal two sus­pended for his role in the hor­rific in­ci­dent.

He was the sec­ond per­son to be con­victed in re­la­tion to the hour and a half long tor­ture of this poor lady after co-ac­cused Jamie O’Brien was sen­tenced ear­lier this year.

The vi­cious and ter­ri­fy­ing na­ture of this at­tack on Ms Sut­ton was hard for many to hear and for many it epit­o­mised their worst fears.

For many older peo­ple in par­tic­u­lar, liv­ing alone in Ire­land goes hand in hand with this mas­sive worry and fear that they will be tar­geted by heart­less thugs.

Ms Sut­ton’s ev­i­dence was heart-break­ing and to think that even when an 89 yearold lady begged them to stop beat­ing her and told them she was dy­ing that they still con­tin­ued.

Her strength and courage are ad­mirable be­cause she kept go­ing and she some­how man­aged to get through the phys­i­cal trauma and heal.

The men­tal trauma how­ever, is some­thing that no 89 year-old could get over as quickly and the re­al­ity is that Ms Sut­ton was so ter­ri­fied and trau­ma­tised by what hap­pened in her beloved home of 50 years that she never re­turned.

Those mon­sters vi­o­lated her in­de­pen­dence and free­dom and drove her out of the one place that she should have felt com­fort­able and safe.

While the bruises have faded, the scars on Ms Sut­ton are much deeper and that at­tack changed her life ir­re­vo­ca­bly.

Lis­ten­ing to her speak fol­low­ing the con­vic­tion of her attacker, it struck me that this lady has more courage, grace and brav­ery than those who prey on vul­ner­a­ble older peo­ple will ever have.

There is scarcely a more cowardly act that what Cash and O’Brien did to Ms Sut­ton.

In her vic­tim im­pact state­ment, Ms Sut­ton out­lined that she wished she had died that day, such is the trauma she is liv­ing with.

Her at­tack­ers have to live with that guilt and with the shame of what they have done.

Many older peo­ple liv­ing alone worry that they will be tar­geted by heart­less thugs.

with Deb­o­rah Cole­man

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