Samurai victim feared man would kill her

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THE woman slashed in the leg by a man who went on a rampage through Banbridge with a Samurai sword last May said she feared her attacker would kill her.

Thomas Pearse was jailed for three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to falsely imprisoning, wounding and threatening to kill the woman.

The 26-year-old was also convicted of possessing an offensive weapon - namely a Samurai sword - which was never recovered by police.

He pleaded guilty to a further charge of possession of a class A drug and will remain under licence for two years after his release.

Almost a year after the attack his victim, who did not wish to be named, has spoken of the flashbacks and nightmares she has had since that day last May when she thought her life was over.

Pearse entered her Summherhill Brae home in the early hours of the morning before making his way to her bedroom armed with the sword. He then proceeded to slash her leg and threaten to kill her during a terrifying four-hour ordeal.

The victim - who still has the physical scars of the attack - said she does not recall what went through her head at the time, other than blind panic.

“He said he was going to kill me,” she told the Leader. The woman recalled appearing in court after Pearse originally pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“He just stared at me,” she said. She added that she was advised not to attend the sentencing last Tuesday as he was “angry and kicking off”.

Following the attack last year Pearse left the estate at around 9.30am, made his way up Linenhall street and roamed through the town centre before finally being caught by police at Commercial Road 20 minutes later.

When the woman’s mother went to Craigavon hospital to visit her wounded daughter she said her screams were horrifying.

The victim’s mum said, “I could hear her screaming before I even got to casualty, she was in such a bad way.”

The sword victim told the Leader she could not express how she felt after Pearse was jailed except to say she was glad it was over.

“I want to put this behind me and move on with my life,” she said.