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Woman describes moment she fought off knife-wielding attacker

A woman who fended off an attacker with a knife in a Dublin laneway has described how she fought for her life.

Ruth Maxwell was assaulted in Clondalkin on her way to the Luas two years ago.

The man who assaulted her was last week sentenced to 18-and-a-half years, after sex attacks on three separate women around the city.

Ms Maxwell described the surreal nature of the attack and says that it started off strangely.

"It was like getting a hug from somebody I was close to or somebody I knew," said Ms Maxwell.

"It wasn't a vicious, frenzied, hands around me, straight away into a battle.

"Then, the second where 'Oh my god, that's a cloth in the hand, there's a knife at me'.

"I just thought, this can't happen, this can't be happening to me. Not here, not now. It just can't."

Ms Maxwell says she grabbed the knife as soon as her assailant held it to her throat.

"I had to pull it as hard as I could, I pulled it down and I bent down as I was pulling it and when I got it a bit of a distance away from my face I started to scream.

"And I can never describe the scream that came out of my mouth.

"It literally came from the depths of my gut."

Digital Desk