Woman with dementia, 86, beat up by thug and put in wheelie bin because he thought she was trans

A man in Ireland has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after a vicious attack on an 86-year-old woman with dementia, believing she was trans and a “predatory pedophile”.

Alex Bailey, 30, of Claragh, Ramelton, Donegal, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the woman causing her harm.

He was sentenced on Friday (19 May) after also admitting charges of false imprisonment and robbery.

During the early-morning attack, in Dublin’s Ranelagh area, Bailey knocked Marie MacGowan to the ground, put her head in a wheelie bin while applying pressure to the lid, kicked and punched her in the face, the court heard.

According to the Irish Times, the pair met at about 2am after MacGowan got lost on her way home, with CCTV footage showing Bailey was with her for more than an hour – sporadically assaulting her for 42 minutes.

Three students eventually arrived and helped her.

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The newspaper reported that MacGowan later told gardaí (Irish police): “I really thought I was going to be dead.”

She had to be treated for a fractured nose and blood loss.

In a victim impact statement, MacGowan’s son, Jack, stated that the assault “nearly killed her” and she required 24/7 specialist care for months afterwards.

“It has impacted her life in a major way and significantly reduced her quality of life,” he said.

He added that his mother had become obsessed with her “near-death experience”, regularly repeating the words, “please stop killing me” and “are you trying to kill me?”

She also suffered bouts of physical shaking, which have since improved, did not sleep well, and has had to move into a nursing home due to “fall risks”, he said.

Bailey’s lawyers told the court he had “induced psychosis” after taking a significant number of intoxicants, and was under “the delusional belief that the victim was a predatory pedophile” and a male dressed as a female.

They added that their client was deeply sorry for the pain and suffering he caused and that he had €10,000 (approximately £8,700) with him at sentencing to offer as a token of his remorse. MacGowan rejected the money and it will reportedly be donated to a hospital where she received treatment after the attack.

The judge sentenced Bailey to three years in prison, backdating it to when he was taken into custody and suspending the final six months on a number of conditions, including good behaviour for two years post-release, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and attending to an addiction centre for a year.

Trans rhetoric in Ireland

Anti-trans rhetoric has been on the rise in Ireland, and has led to Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar publically backing primary school students learning about what it means to be transgender after a Catholic group wrote to government ministers opposing the scheme.

British anti-trans campaigner Posie Parker also recently weaponised the assault of a 14-year-old boy in Ireland, claiming it was the result of an anti-trans “backlash” and that lesbian, gay or bisexual people would be attacked because trans people “attached itself to LGB”.

She had initially announced plans to hold an anti-trans rally in Dublin in April, but it was cancelled because of a visit at the time by US president Joe Biden and a lack of police resources.

Dublin’s Trans and Intersex Pride, which had planned to protest in the city, still made their voices clear, travelling to Belfast, in Northern Ireland, to oppose her event there.

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