Horrifying assault | 

Exposed: Cowardly thug who battered woman for asking him out

Dean Dunlop is now serving 30 months behind bars after pleading guilty to GBH by maliciously and unlawfully wounding Liz
Dean Dunlop who attacked his former friend Liz Gibson

Dean Dunlop who attacked his former friend Liz Gibson

Steven Moore

Cowardly thug Dean Dunlop is exposed today after launching a sickening attack on a female 'friend' whose only 'crime' was to ask him out.

The 32-year-old - seen here fittingly wearing yellow - battered hero hospital worker Liz Gibson unconscious in an attack that was so vicious she can't remember anything about it.

These pictures show the physical injuries suffered by the 37-year-old Lurgan woman after she was set upon by long-term friend Dunlop back in December 2020.

Her face was unrecognisable, her right eye completely closed over and blood was pouring from a nasty gash on her head.

She had a broken nose and the cut above her eye has left her with a permanent scar and says Dunlop had left a footprint on her forehead.

He's now serving 30 months behind bars after pleading guilty to GBH by maliciously and unlawfully wounding Liz, though he'll only serve six months in prison and the rest on licence.

Despite her traumatic experience, which left her with deep psychological scars and cost her to lose her hospital job, Liz refuses to be defeated by the shocking attack.

Today, the brave 37-year-old is speaking out, she says, to show other victims of domestic abuse how you can get justice.

She also wants the world to know she was telling the truth all along.

Liz Gibson can’t remember anything about the assault by Dean Dunlop which left her with horror injuries

Liz Gibson can’t remember anything about the assault by Dean Dunlop which left her with horror injuries

"He was telling people for over a year that he was innocent, that he hadn't done it and his friends and family believed him," says Liz.

"But the evidence against him was overwhelming and he finally pleaded guilty rather than go to trial and everyone should know that.

"After the attack I obviously went through hell mentally, but I'd see him out walking his dog as if nothing had happened.

"It's taken 22 counselling sessions to get me to this point where I feel my life is turning for the better. I want to put it out there to women, and men for that matter, that there is justice out there so come forward and don't be afraid."

Liz Gibson shows some of the injuries she sustained

Liz Gibson shows some of the injuries she sustained

Liz had been friends with Dunlop and his family for years and she took a shine to him.

"I was working as a domestic at Craigavon Area Hospital," explains Liz. "I worked with Dean's mum and sister - we were good friends.

"On the night this happened I'd been out with his sister and I went back to his mum's house for my tea. Dean was out drinking with his brother and we had to pick them up. Anyway, Dean and I got dropped off to my house and we had a few drinks together.

"He'd been drinking from the night before and was quite moody and sleepy. I liked Dean and I asked him out but he turned nasty.

"He told me 'no chance' but then went on to tell me he'd do this and he'd do that to my two younger sisters. It was disgusting.

"I started videoing him. He snapped my phone off me and fired it across the room.

"The next thing I can remember is waking up on my bedroom floor. I'd been unconscious for about 45 minutes."

Liz Gibson shows some of the injuries she sustained at the hands of cowardly thug Dean Dunlop

Liz Gibson shows some of the injuries she sustained at the hands of cowardly thug Dean Dunlop

Dean had fled Liz's house when she regained consciousness, but he'd left all his belongings, including his phone, wallet, jacket and keys.

"I remember going to the neighbour's house wrapped in a sheet and the next thing there was about 10 cops cars in the street," says Liz.

"I was lucky they were there to look after me and I owe them a big thanks.

"The neighbour told me I was struggling to make sense, I was slurring my words and getting my sentences mixed up and I was repeatedly asking for my sister.

"I just remember feeling really disorientated and wiping blood away from my eyebrow constantly."

Craigavon Crown Court was told last week how her neighbour had flagged down a passing police patrol car and that Liz was covered in blood.

Liz's face was unrecognisable

Liz's face was unrecognisable

A prosecutor told the court: "Police spoke with Ms Gibson who could not recall how she had sustained her injuries. She stated that she could remember being in her house alone with the defendant earlier in the evening.

"He had been in argumentative mood and had been making vulgar sexual comments about her and also her sister. He threatened that he would punch Ms Gibson around the ears and head. Ms Gibson recorded part of this on her mobile phone.

"Police observed that the IP (injured party) had sustained severe bruising and swelling to the right side of her face causing her right eye to close, bruising to her nose, a cut above her right eyebrow which bled profusely (approx 1 inch and left a permanent scar)."

Dunlop was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and blood matching Liz's DNA was found on his t-shirt.

He told police he knew Liz for a couple of years and they "got on like a house in fire" but while admitting he was "fairly drunk" he denied causing her injuries, claiming she was completely fine when he left her house.

He said he had no recollection of making disgusting sexual comments about her sister, despite a clip being played to him, and he had no explanation as to how her blood got on his clothing.

The prosecutor said the victim had no memory of what happened but given the "significant facial injuries" it was fair to assume she had suffered "sustained hard blows to the face".

Cowardly thug Dean Dunlop

Cowardly thug Dean Dunlop

Liz says she's glad not to have any recollection of the attack.

"He left his footprint on my forehead," says Liz. "I think he booted me up and down the house. I had bruises down my shoulder and on my neck.

"I can't remember at all what happened, even now. At the start I wanted to remember, and it was really frustrating that I couldn't. But now I'm glad I can't remember. The physical injuries are bad enough.

"The mental injuries are bad enough without having the images of the attack in my head too. I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and couldn't leave the house for months.

"My sister tried to get me out on wee drives but I couldn't get out of the car. I remember she took me to a shopping centre and I just froze. I thought everyone was looking at me and everyone knew. It's a horrible feeling.

"I ended up losing my job at the hospital. I was working through a recruitment agency and I had taken so much time off sick they sacked me."

Liz Gibson coming to terms with her injuries

Liz Gibson coming to terms with her injuries

Liz says she's not aware of any apology from Dunlop.

"I'm just glad it's all over now," she says. "I'm a lot better now he has admitted what he did to me and everyone can see that I was telling the truth.

"I'm in a new relationship now and I'm rebuilding my life. It's been a rocky road but all I want is to get my life back, to get my job back and move on.

"My family and partner have been brilliant with me over the last 18 months, I don't think I could have got through it all without them."

steven.moore@sundayworld.com


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