Pics: Kieron Ducie battered by hammer-wielding thieves at his home
Kieron Ducie, who was quizzed by the Gardai following the death of Katie French in 2007, suffered a brutal assault at the hands of burglers on Tuesday.
The business man was sitting in his home in Lambertstown, Kilmessan, Co Meath when he was attacked by three would-be raiders.
The raiders broke down the patio door of Ducie's home at about 1.30am, not expecting the 45-year-old to be up.
His partner Elaine Buggle and his two children were both in the house at the time of the attack.
A source told the Irish Daily Star: "Kieron had just returned from a late-night jog and was watching TV upsatirs when he heard loud bangs on his patio door.
"He ran downstairs and they [the raiders] were already in the kitchen after smashing through the glass.
"There were three of them, they had a claw hammer each. They came at him and caught him on his left arm a few times. They smashed it up.
"Kieron managed to fight them back into the hallway but two held him while the other tried to ransack the house.
"But Kieron went nuts and ripped a door off its hinges and used it as a shield against the hammer blows.
"He floored the two raiders, who knew it wasn't worth it and shouted at their accomplice to get out.
"They couldn't find any cash or jewellery but grabbed Elaine's car keys and drove off in her Toyota Avensis."
Ducie was taken to Blanchardstown Hospital where he underwent an operation to have steel pins inserted into his arm.
In 2013, Ducie and former partner Ann Corcoran receieved suspended sentences for a drugs offence on the weekend that French collapsed at their home.
The model was in a critically ill condition in hospital for four days after her collape at Ducie's home on December 2, 2007 before she passed away.