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'flight risk' Two men charged after woman suffered knife wounds and broken nose in Co Kildare are refused bail

Andrei Stroescu (20), and Robert Ion (22) appeared before Judge Miriam Walsh in Naas District Court


Robert Ion appearing at Naas court. Pic Gary Ashe

Robert Ion appearing at Naas court. Pic Gary Ashe

Robert Ion appearing at Naas court. Pic Gary Ashe

The two men arrested in a flat in Newbridge where a female occupant suffered two stab wounds, a broken nose and multiple lacerations, were remanded in custody after the State opposed bail on the grounds of flight risk, and the seriousness of the charges.

Andrei Stroescu (20), and Robert Ion (22), both with an address at Donaghmore, The Anchorage, Bettystown, Co Meath appeared before Judge Miriam Walsh in Naas District Court from garda custody following their arrest at Henry Street.

Garda James Quigley told the court how he and Garda Martin Staunton answered a call to the address at 11.40pm last Tuesday evening after screaming was heard, and found the door was slightly ajar on arrival.


Andei Stroescu at Naas courthouse. Pic Gary Ashe

Andei Stroescu at Naas courthouse. Pic Gary Ashe

Andei Stroescu at Naas courthouse. Pic Gary Ashe

“We could hear great distress and emotion inside, we immediately identified ourselves as An Garda Síochána, and heard further screams from the female for help,” he said.

“We observed a scantily clad female covered in blood running towards us, screaming for help. We immediately escorted the lady to a place of safety and returned,” he said.

“We observed three males on the property, the defendant [Stroescu] had a large meat cleaver with a 12” blade in his hand... Mr ion had a claw hammer he allegedly used,” said Gda Quigley.

“He was given clear directions to drop the weapon but he continued brandishing the meat cleaver.

"A violent struggle ensued, the defendants were put on the ground, arrested and cautioned immediately,” said the garda.

He then summarised the injured woman’s statement, that she opened her door and three men burst in.

Garda Quigley told how they allegedly “mounted her and tied her hands behind her back, and hit her multiple times with what was believed to be the claw hammer”.

“Judge, she’s believed to have suffered a broken nose, two puncture wounds to the buttocks, and multiple lacerations to her body,” he said.

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“Andrei Stroescu made no admissions, and showed no remorse. Neither of them dropped their weapons after being given five directions to do so,” he added.

He confirmed pepper spray was used to subdue the two men.

“They were not known to Ms [named woman], and they gained entry by force,” he said.

The two were subsequently charged in Newbridge Garda Station with S12 burglary, S3 assault causing harm, and S9(i) of the Firearms Act, namely production of a weapon.

In cross-examination, he confirmed for Mr Gibbons that an alleged third male fled the scene and was not apprehended “because there was just the two of us”.

“How long before more gardaí arrived?” asked Mr Gibbons.

“It was a very short time, but because of the danger, I wasn’t keeping a stopwatch,” said Gda Quigley.

“Because the third person is missing, the garda can’t say who, or what occurred in the apartment with the alleged assault,” said Mr Gibbons.

“You can’t say who carried out these alleged injuries to this lady?” said Mr Gibbons.

“I cannot,” conceded Garda Quigley.

“My client alleges he was wrestled aggressively to the ground and pepper sprayed,” said Mr Gibbons.

“That’s true. It occurred during a violent struggle when I was approached by a meat cleaver, and he wouldn’t put it down,” said Garda Quigley.

“My clients refute this... and because a third person is not there, it reduces the seriousness of the charges,” said Mr Gibbons, however Judge Walsh disagreed.

“I do not think it’s appropriate to grant bail in this,” she said, citing the seriousness of the charges, the likelihood of flight risk, and that they were caught “red-handed”.

She remanded both in custody to re-appear by videolink from Cloverhill on 26 August at Naas District Court, and granted both legal aid.

Judge Walsh ordered that the injured party could not be named, but added: “that is the only reporting restriction I’m putting on this matter” .

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