Thugs dangled woman from balcony after cocaine-fuelled group sex

Thugs who dangled woman, 30, out of the balcony of a flat 60ft high after brandy and cocaine-fuelled group sex session are jailed for a total of 12 years

  • Declan O’Neill and Ewan Gaylard met the victim in Oldham, Greater Manchester
  • They cut her cheek with broken mirror, dragged her by her hair and punched her
  • O’Neill was jailed for ten years after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and an unrelated robbery offence 
  • Gaylard was jailed for two years after admitting causing grievous bodily harm

Thugs who dangled a 30-year-old woman out of the 60ft-high balcony after brandy and cocaine-fuelled group sex session are jailed for a total of 12 years.

Declan O’Neill and Ewan Gaylard left the victim ‘unrecognisable’ after they suddenly turned on her moments after they had a three-in-a bed liaison in a flat.

The mother was cut across her cheek with a piece of broken mirror, dragged around the apartment by her hair and was repeatedly punched in the face until her nose collapsed.


Declan O’Neill, 22, was jailed for ten years after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and an unrelated robbery offence.  Ewan Gaylard, 28, was jailed for two years after admitting causing grievous bodily harm

Detective Sergeant 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.’

The pair then warned her they would further disfigure her with acid before she fled the property without her clothes and with blood pouring from her face. 

She received 13 stitches and will have a permanent scar to her cheek.

Police investigated the attack that happened on February 19 in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

They discovered that both father-of-two O’Neill, 22, and Gaylard, 28, had been snorting large quantities cocaine in the run up to the beating. 

The defendants were caught on CCTV as they fled the scene before officers went inside the apartment block where they found a bloody trial leading straight to the flat

O’Neill had been celebrating his release from prison with Gaylard after serving a sentence for burglary when the pair met the victim outside a Bargain Booze store in the city centre. 

She was reportedly homeless and alcohol dependent after suffering a series of personal tragedy.

Prosecutor Adam Lodge said: ‘They got chatting and they said they were celebrating and they invited her back to Gaylard’s flat where they continued to drink and she spent some time there listening to music and smoking and drinking.

‘She was sipping from a bottle of Brandy and cocaine was consumed. 

‘The victim accepts she took a small amount of cocaine but the defendants took significantly more. 

‘She started to ask if they would like it if they removed their clothes and sex took place which continued for some time.

‘However, when they were finished things changed and the behaviour of the defendants became aggressive and physical towards her.

‘She was accused by Gaylard of stealing money and was told she was not allowed to leave. 

‘It was then that they subjected her to a sustained and violent ordeal. She was punched to the face and head and Gaylard punched the victim so violently to her nose it caused it to collapse.

O’Neill had been celebrating his release from prison with Gaylard after serving a sentence for burglary. He already had  24 offences on his record including battery and burglary

‘They continued with the severe beating and this resulted in further bruises of her face. The violence spilled out onto the balcony and she said she clung onto the balcony rail for her life.

‘She was dragged back into the flat by her hair and threatened with acid and there were further punches to her face. 

‘A mirror was broken and O’Neill picked up a piece of glass and caused injury to his own neck. 

‘At that point the violence seemed to come to an end. But before she was told to leave O’Neill struck her forcibly to the face with a piece of broken glass from the mirror.

‘The wound was a full-depth laceration to her face which needed 13 stitches. 

‘Her cheek was completely sliced apart. It will stay with her indefinitely. 

‘She left the flat and left her property at the flat, and was running round the streets in a panic.

‘An ambulance and the police were called. 

‘The victim was not able to identify the victims by their name but gave a description of where it took place and a brief description of the defendants. 

‘The police went to identify the flat and saw two men matching the general description.

‘The two defendants were seen to be discarding a carrier bag which was later found to be the victims clothing and a shard of broken glass used to cause the injury.

‘The defendants made off and the officers went inside the apartment block and found a bloody trial leading straight to the flat.

‘They found more blood splatters on the floor and found there were attempts made to clean up after themselves by evidence of cleaning products and cloths.

‘Gaylard was quickly identified as the owner of the flat. O’Neill was caught by chance when the victim was with the police and appeared to bump into him on the street.’

‘In her victim personal statement the woman said she has suffered physically and psychologically. 

‘She doesn’t believe she will be able to get passed this and she is paranoid her herself and for her children.’

The victim has even moved away from the region and has been supported by agencies in finding a place to live to recover from her ordeal.

O’Neill had 24 offences on his record including battery and burglary while Gaylard had convictions for robbery and affray.

In mitigation for O’Neill, defence lawyer Mark Fireman said: ‘He chose to admit what he did and accept responsibility for himself of having cut her face. 

‘He has got a young child child from a prior relationship. He deserves punishment for what he has done.’

Sentencing both men Judge Paul Lawton said: ‘This was a sustained and ruthless assault which occurred after she he came back to your flat and you all engaged in sexual activity. 

‘She was punched repeatedly to the face which sufficient force to break her nose.

‘She also had extensive bruising to her face which left her unrecognisable as a human being. Her cheek was sliced with a shard of the glass and the wound was full depth gaping. She was in terror as she left the property.

‘You sought to cover your tracks by cleaning up the trail of blood and disposing of her clothing but evidence has shown that was futile. 

‘I’ve got to take into account her vulnerability and that the offence was committed whilst you were under the influence of a controlled substance.’ 

O’Neill was jailed for ten years after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and an unrelated robbery offence, at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.

Gaylard was jailed for two years after admitting the lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm. 

Both men were initially charged with rape but the allegations were discontinued after they insisted sex was consensual. 

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