Homeless woman tortured and dangled from tower block balcony by 'coked up' men - USA DAILY NEWS

Homeless woman tortured and dangled from tower block balcony by ‘coked up’ men

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A woman was dangled off the edge of a five storey tower block after being lured there by two men.

Ewan Gaylard, 20, and Declan O’Neill, 22, went out onto the streets of Oldham looking for someone to take advantage of, police have said.

The serial criminals were celebrating Gaylard’s release from prison that day, on February 19 this year, Manchester Evening News reported.

At about 9pm outside Bargain Booze they spotted their victim – a homeless woman who struggled with alcohol dependency.

After chatting her up they invited the woman, who is in her thirties, back to a flat for a drink.

Armed with brandy they headed to the fifth floor apartment where they plied the woman with cocaine and drink.



Declan O’Neill went into the streets looking for someone to abuse

 

When the woman rejected an attempt to kiss her, Gaylard and O’Neill became violent.

Det Sgt Pete Morley of Greater Manchester Police said: “At one point she went onto the balcony with the intention of screaming for help.

“The defendants followed her and one said ‘I’m going to f…ing kill you’.

“He lifted her legs up as if to throw her over the balcony. They were about halfway up the building and it would have been a 60ft drop to the ground.

“She grabbed hold of the railing and was then grabbed by the hair and pulled back into the flat.

“She was then punched, slashed with a piece of a broken mirror, and both defendants punched and kicked her over all her body.”

During the melee O’Neill slashed her face, causing a cut that went right through her cheek.

It would later required 13 stitches that will not be enough to stop her from becoming permanently disfigured.

Her nose also collapsed through the impact of a punch.

The ordeal ended at 1am when the pair left the flat to get cleaning materials.

She was taken into a strangers’ home after knocking on their door, naked, bleeding and pleading for help.

Det Sgt Morley said: “Things could have gone very differently if the person who answered her knock had not done the morally right thing and let her in and called the emergency services.”

As a result of the neighbour helping the victim, police were on the scene soon afterwards.



They were sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court

 

An officer spotted the pair loitering outside the block, prompting them to run.

Crucially, they dropped a plastic bag in their haste.

Inside was clothing belonging to the victim and a pair of glasses. A shard of mirror was found nearby.

“If the member of the public had not taken the victim in and called police, this crucial evidence could potentially have been lost,” said Det Sgt Morley.

The evidence led them to Gaylard’s flat. Inside, a ‘poor attempt’ had been made to clean up the scene, with a blood stained sponge in the sink.

Just two days after the savage attack the victim came face to face with Gaylard.

She was being escorted to a medical appointment in Oldham by police when she spotted a group of men walk past.

O’Neill, who has 10 convictions for 24 previous offences including battery and assault, was in the group and spoke to one of the officers. The victim told them he was one of the two people that had attacked her and he was arrested on the spot.

Gaylard, who has 16 convictions for 23 offences, was tracked down to the home of a relative.



Ewan Gaylard, grey jogging bottoms, and Declan O’Neill, black hood, leave Littlemoor House in Oldham on the night they brutally attacked a woman in Gaylard’s flat

 

When police arrived he fled barefoot through Greenacres Cemetery in Oldham before being brought down by uniformed officers.

Gaylard has admitted unlawful wounding of the victim and O’Neill wounding with intent on Friday at Minshull Street Crown Court.

Rape charges were also left to lie on file for both defendants.

Mark Fireman, defending O’Neill, argued his client deserved credit for admitting to slashing the woman’s face, which the victim had initially accused Gaylard of.

The lawyer said: “He chose to admit what he had done and accept responsbility.

“Despite his record he is not without merit. He is a qualified barber. He has two young children from a previous relationship.

“He is a young man who is resigned to a significant sentence and accepts that he deserves punishing for what he did.”

Judge Paul Lawton said: “This was an appallingly brutal and sustained assault.



The pair went out to by cleaning products

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“[The victim] was punched repeatedly with such force to break her nose.

“The photos of her injuries are such that she is unrecognisable as a human being.”

Having also been convicted of robbery, O’Neill was sentenced to ten years in prison, with an extended licence period of two years.

Gaylard was given a two year sentence.

Det Sgt Morley said: “It is clear that this was a premeditated decision to target a vulnerable woman, and to take her to a place that is isolated, where they could torture and leave her in a state where she genuinely felt she was going to be killed.

“They have not only inflicted mental trauma, but every time she sees her reflection in the mirror she will be reminded of that night.

“Neither of these men have tried to take responsibility for their actions or show any remorse. Each pose a a very real threat to the public.”

The court heard the victim ‘does not believe she will ever get past’ the attack.

She’s been left so badly traumatised she has moved away from the region and has been supported by agencies in finding a place to live and recover from her ordeal.

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