Irish couple held in Australia after man is attacked and has ear severed off

Irish couple held in Australia after man is attacked and has ear severed off

AN IRISH couple have been arrested in Australia in connection to an incident where a man had his ear viciously severed off.

Katie Aileen Murtagh, 26, and her boyfriend Patrick Earle, 23, are both being held over the alleged attack on 30-year-old Oliver Solan, who was assaulted in a Sydney apartment on Saturday night.

Police allege that Mr Earle, along with four other men who are currently on the run, attacked Solan as he lay motionless on the floor of the flat, used a knife to sever part of his ear and left him with a ruptured spleen, according to

CCTV footage allegedly shows Ms Murtagh using her strength to drag Mr Solan’s bloodied body into the hall. Distressed neighbours called police, who found Mr Solan with multiple stab wounds to his head and body and a chunk of his ear missing.

Paramedics rushed the 30-year-old to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and remains in a serious but stable condition.

Reportedly, the Irish couple had been spotted drinking with Mr Solan at a pub earlier in the night.

Reports indicate that an argument broke out between Mr Earle and Mr Solan when they were back at the couple's apartment, with Mr Solan allegedly being the first to attack Mr Earle, causing injuries to his arm.

Afterwards, Ms Murtagh is alleged to have sent Facebook messages to Mr Earle's friends, asking them to come over to the flat 'for back up'.

She apparently let them into the flat and they hid in one of the bedrooms, before attacking Mr Solan with a knife.

The Irish couple were arrested shortly after the incident, but the four other men involved - who are all believed to be Irish themselves - are still on the run from local police.

Mr Earle, from Kilkenny, and Ms Murtagh, from Dublin, both faced Waverley Local Court yesterday where they were refused bail. Appearing in court via video link, Mr Earle sat quietly wearing a hospital gown with a bandage over his left ear. He was taken into custody from Prince of Wales Hospital where he was treated for an injury to his arm on Saturday night.

The court was told he is facing a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted, with a standard non-parole period of seven years. Ms Murtagh chose not to appear on screen in court and along with her boyfriend will be held in custody until October 27.