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Weymouth man arrested in England for assaulting woman

WEYMOUTH — Through the world of online gaming, 19-year-old Shane M. Coffey found friends more than 3,200 miles away in England, but the long-distance relationships did not last.

When one of those faraway friends, an 18-year-old woman, ended her ties to Coffey on Christmas Eve, police allege that the Weymouth man hatched a violent plot that culminated April 18 when he broke into her home in a small town near London and stabbed her in her bedroom.

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Coffey is being investigated by police in Surrey, a county in southeast England, according to police and court records filed in Massachusetts.

The alleged attack was the result of months of planning by Coffey, who obtained a US passport and made plans to travel to the town where the woman lived, Epsom, 17 miles southwest of London, after she broke off their relationship, police said.

When Coffey went to her home at 4:30 a.m., he brought with him a knife, zip ties, and tape, according to an affidavit written by Weymouth police Detective David Galvin.

Details of the alleged attack are spelled out in a Weymouth police report, which includes an account of the events written by Surrey police, and in Galvin’s affidavit, which was filed in Quincy District Court after police searched Coffey’s home on Lincoln Street last Saturday.

“This incident appears to be a preplanned attack,” Galvin wrote in a police report.

He also wrote that Surrey authorities asked Weymouth police to search Coffey’s home for electronic devices that may have been used to plan the attack and could contain information about the motive.

Police allege Coffey used a rock to smash a window and climb inside a first-floor bedroom, where he found the woman and stabbed her. She screamed, awaking others who were asleep in the home, the report said.

The victim’s brother came to her aid, pulling Coffey off his sister, the report said. The screaming woke their father, who went to his daughter’s room to help restrain Coffey. Coffey was struck twice over the head with an iron bar used by the victim’s brother, the report said.

The victim’s brother was injured while trying to restrain Coffey, Surrey police said.

An e-mail from Surrey police did not name Coffey, but said police arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder and took him to a secure hospital. Surrey police did not release further details about the attack, and Weymouth police said no one was available Friday evening to discuss Coffey’s case.

According to Galvin’s affidavit, Coffey met the woman and two other people, who were not identified, playing video games online with the Xbox system.

Coffey and the woman communicated via text messages and the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, a police report said. Coffey also gave her gifts, which he demanded back after she ended their relationship, the report said. It was unclear how long their relationship lasted.

He began booking travel and accommodations in England in February, when he bought a ticket to fly from Boston to Heathrow Airport in London on April 16, the report said.

Coffey reserved a taxi and hotel room in Epsom and also made a reservation at a Holiday Inn near Heathrow, which he later canceled, the report said.

At some point, he purchased tickets to attend a concert in Amsterdam and booked air travel to go there from London on April 20, the report said.

Coffey was due to fly home from Amsterdam this Sunday, the report said.

Police searching his hotel room in Epsom found a Google map of the route between the hotel and the woman’s house, the report said.

During a search of Coffey’s home in Weymouth, police took an Xbox 360 game console, gaming equipment, nylon cable ties, computer equipment, a zombie video game called “Dead Island: Riptide,” a package of shower caps, a black KA-BAR knife and sheath, photographs, and other items.

No one answered the door at his home Friday afternoon, and messages left for a relative listed in a police report were not returned.

Many neighbors said they did not know anyone who lives at Coffey’s address.

Coffey attended Weymouth public schools, but withdrew in July 2009, the superintendent’s office said.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.
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