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Savage woman beater on the run after fleeing open prison

Dean Ward
Dean Ward

THIS is the savage woman beater who has gone on the run from jail after walking out the door of an open prison last month with a year of his sentence still to serve.

Thug Dean Ward (31), is meant to be serving a four-year sentence with one suspended for viciously assaulting and falsely imprisoning a young woman he met on a dating website.

However, instead the repeat offender is a free man after absconding from Loughan House prison in Co. Cavan on 28 May.

Incredibly, he had been placed in the open prison despite the fact he had a history of escaping from custody and had served just half his sentence.

Ward (31), from Ballintlea, Gorey, Co. Wexford, was jailed for assault and false imprisonment after launching a sustained and vicious attack on a woman he had met in November 2015. 

The brute locked her in her home and repeatedly punched and kicked her after wrongly accusing her of flirting with another man. Her screams for help alerted members of the public who entered her home to save her.

In her victim impact statement, she told the court: “I, and only I, saw the rage in his eyes and felt his power as he rained down punch after punch, kick after kick – if those people hadn’t come to my aid I wouldn’t be here today.”

It was just one of Ward’s many brushes with the law and he also served a three-year sentence in the U.K. for an attempted wounding with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm.

He was also convicted last year of fleeing from Garda custody. 

 

Speaking to the Sunday World, Ward’s terrified victim – who asked for her name not to be used because of fears for her safety – said she was not told Ward (right) had escaped until three weeks after it happened. The Sunday World understands the gardai were contacted by the Prison Service within hours of his escape.

“It beggars belief that he was in an open prison, it just doesn’t make sense – and somebody should answer for that,” she said.

“His escape is all on CCTV – he can be seen walking out the front door where they had a car waiting for him. It was all planned. The original investigating garda, who is a lovely man, was away on holidays and nobody told me until he came back.

“If he hadn’t come back, I would still be unaware. The Garda knew on May 28 that Dean had gone missing and nobody told me until June 20.

“I am terrified for my safety, I know he will try to get in touch with me.”

She said she fears that there is no active search for Ward – and instead the Gardaí will have to wait for him to commit another crime before he is caught. 

“The reality is that I don’t know if the Gardaí are looking for him – there has been a bulletin sent around to the other Garda stations, but that’s it. I am afraid he wouldn’t be picked up or even looked for unless he commits another crime. I’m afraid it means someone else will have to be hurt. Who is to say he’s not online looking for some other girl?”

During his trial, the court heard Ward had repeatedly punched and kicked his victim after flying into a jealous rage. She tried to leave the house in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford and he dragged her back in. 

The horror assault was described in court as going on for a substantial period of time. Her screams for help alerted members of the public who entered her home to save her.

As three men entered her home Ward fled the scene. His victim was hospitalised for a number of days after the attack and had been in fear for her life during the assault.

In her victim impact statement, the woman said: “I know in my heart and soul that if those people hadn’t come to my aid on that night I wouldn’t be here today. He told me that my children wouldn’t recognise me because he was going to disfigure me. I’m only a shadow of the woman I was then.”

At a separate court hearing, it was described how Ward had escaped from Garda custody after being arrested in connection to the attack by running out the back door of the station.

He ran into the car park and tried to hide behind a large container. He was eventually caught.

This week, the young woman described how she had only known Ward briefly before the attack. 

“We were chatting online for a few months before we actually met up. He came across as a choirboy. He just came across as a genuine nice guy.”

On the Saturday night the assault occurred, the woman was going out with her pals and Ward asked to tag along. During the night, he accused her wrongly of cheating and she decided to leave and go home.

 

Later that night, he appeared to have calmed down slightly and they got a taxi home together and she let him into the house to talk.

“He was still mad, but never anything I thought would lead to violence – I never would have allowed him in my door if I had thought that.”

Following the assault, the victim said Ward continued to contact her and subject her to abuse.

She added: “He contacted me on Facebook pretending to be a secretary from my kid’s school, saying he was updating details and he would be the contact point in the future.

“I thought it was too suspicious, the ‘secretary’ wanted to meet up. But after I asked him a few questions he admitted it was him and started to get really abusive. I know he will try and get in touch with me again.”