Belfast Telegraph

Disabled Belfast woman beaten in her own home by burglar

By Alan Erwin

A disabled woman battered by a burglar in her home suffered "every female householder's nightmare", a High Court judge said today.

Mr Justice Gillen described the attack which left the victim's face and head so swollen she required a brain scan as "absolutely outrageous".

Bail was refused to the 21-year-old man accused of breaking into her north Belfast flat last Sunday morning and inflicting multiple injuries.

Edward Stuart Cambridge, of Green End, Newtownabbey, denies charges of burglary and theft of a mobile phone cash and gas card, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and threats to kill.

Police went to the victim's Shore Road home after tracing a 999 call she made without speaking while the intruder was inside searching for money.

Fiona O'Kane, prosecuting, said the woman's face and nightdress were left covered in blood.

The victim, described as having limited mobility, told officers a man had climbed through her dining room window and attacked her from behind.

"His first strike came before he made any demand for money," Mrs O'Kane said.

"He then began a continuous assault, beating her around the head and face, demanding money and telling her he was going to kill her."

She had sustained two black eyes, severe swelling, and welts to her thigh from being hit by a belt or strap.

The woman also suffered an open wound to her nose caused by her glasses being punched into her face.

Further hand bruising was inflicted by attempts to cover her face. 

"She had to be taken for a CT scan of the brain because her swelling was so extreme," Mrs O'Kane added.

Cambridge was stopped and arrested by police after she provided a description of her attacker.

He was carrying a ladies studded belt with hair on it allegedly matching that of the victim, the court heard.

The accused denied any involvement in the burglary, claiming he had been drinking at a friend's house before being asked to leave by other men.

Suggesting he could live at an address well away from the victim, his barrister stressed he had not given a no-comment interview to police.

But Mr Justice Gillen refused bail due to the risk of further offences.

The judge remarked: "This case is an instance of every female householder's nightmare, an absolutely outrageous attack upon this innocent woman by a total stranger."

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