Pervert tries to choke woman in park sex assault
Gardai are investigating a sinister incident in which a man tried to strangle a woman during the course of an attempted sexual assault.
The incident happened at the Tir na Nog park in Castleknock, north Dublin, when the woman - who is aged in her late 30s - was walking through the deserted park on her own.
Subsequently, all parents and students of a nearby secondary school have been put on the alert.
Sources have revealed that the woman was approached by a man from behind who attempted to strangle her with what is believed to have been a belt on Saturday evening.
During the course of what is believed to have been a sexually-motivated attack, the man also assaulted and attempted to rob the woman.
Luckily, she managed to flee from her attacker and run away from the scene.
Her attacker had fled by the time gardai from nearby Blanchardstown Station were notified of what had happened.
The woman did not suffer serious physical injuries in the incident but was unable to give officers a description of her attacker. She is said to be extremely traumatised.
No arrests have been made and gardai have been examining CCTV in the Castleknock and Carpenterstown area in a bid to catch the culprit.
Gardai may also use a specialised computer system known as the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis system (Viclas) to determine if Saturday morning's crime is linked to other similar crimes.
Viclas is a computer system developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the early 1990s to compare different crimes for similarities.
The incident has caused major concern in the Castleknock area and prompted principal of Castleknock Community College John Cronin to write a letter to parents and guardians of students alerting them to the attack.
"The gardai have informed me that a serious assault took place at this time," Mr Cronin wrote.
"Consequently, I am advising all parents and guardians of the situation and the urgent need to remind their daughters and sons to be extremely careful if they are travelling through the park beside the college. The message is of particular importance as the evenings are getting darker.
"It is important that young people report any incidents to the relevant authorities."
The college is located beside the park which is used as a training ground for underage GAA teams and as a shortcut to shops from nearby housing estates.
There have been previous security concerns about a lack of public lighting on a footpath in the park.