Donna Angevine: 'I just started swinging'

A woman who was held at gunpoint in her own home in the US said she hit the Irish intruder around 100 times in the head with a baseball bat to subdue him.

Irish citizen Christopher Miskelly (25) has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in a US prison after a terrifying house raid on Donna and Roger Angevine in Washington last year.

Miskelly, who is to be deported back to Ireland in about four years, was armed with a baseball bat, a handgun and a knife but, as Donna (46) would later tell the US media, he "chose the wrong people to mess with".

Once establishing he was alone, Donna, a red belt in taekwando, and her husband decided to fight back.

Successfully wrestling the baseball bat from his hands, Donna had only one thing on her mind.

"I got the bat and just started swinging; I focused on the skull because I just wanted him to go unconscious, but you Irish people have thick skulls because he would not go unconscious," she told the Sunday Tribune from her US home.

"I honestly think I must have hit him about 100 times. I think he will probably suffer from headaches for the rest of his life."

The violent robbery in July last year resulted in Miskelly receiving serious head wounds during a fight that left the Angevine's bedroom covered in blood.

But they say they bear no ill will toward the opportunist raider, instead blaming another man for masterminding the whole event.

"My husband and I didn't feel like we were victims because there was only about one and a half minutes when we didn't feel like we were in control," she said.

Miskelly entered the house at around 1.15am and his movements woke the sleeping couple.

"I said there's someone in here and at that point Christopher began shouting, 'Get up, get up and on the floor.' He had an Irish accent so I didn't know what was going on.

"My husband sat up and said, 'Is this serious?' I thought I heard Christopher hitting the bat on the bed as hard as he could. I am glad I didn't know he was hitting my husband."

The pair got out of bed, and when the moment was right, Roger (49) lunged for Christopher while Donna successfully grabbed the baseball bat.

"He had a flashlight taped to the muzzle of the gun and that was the first time I had seen a gun up close," Angevine recalled.

"I looked at it and I said, 'You brought a gun!' and he said it wasn't loaded so that is why I was saying I don't think he was this kind of criminally-minded guy.

"They [the emergency services] thought they were going to have to airlift him out because his head injuries were so horrible.

"Our room was destroyed and we had to have everything replaced; the carpet, the wallpaper and the bed. There was blood splattered everywhere. Until we got him hog-tied he just kept trying to struggle."

Police say they did not investigate the details of Miskelly's background in Ireland. They confirmed but that he was not a US citizen and would be deported after serving his prison time.

It is understood he was married and had stepchildren in America.

But the Angevines believe he was set up by another man who they had taken under their wing in the past.

"I feel bad for Christopher, I think he is just a weak-minded individual and he was swayed by this true criminal," she said.