herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Suspected rapist 'caught in the act' during city assault

Photo: Stock picture
Photo: Stock picture

A suspected rapist was arrested by gardai as he carried out a violent sexual assault on a woman in Dublin city centre.

The horrific attack took place on the capital's northside in the early hours of Monday.

The victim, who is a Portuguese national, was attacked at around 3am in an alleyway at Parnell Place.

Distress

The Herald has learned that residents in the area became aware of a woman in distress and immediately telephoned for assistance from gardai.

Officers responded and arrested the man as he was carrying out the sex attack.

The victim was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at the nearby Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

A garda spokesman said a man, aged in his 30s, had been arrested following the incident.

He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be held for up to 24 hours.

It is understood that the suspect became ill and received treatment at the Mater Hospital, which delayed his period of detention.

He was last night expected to be quizzed further at Store Street Garda Station.

An incident room has been established at the city centre garda station.

A source last night said that gardai will continue to question the suspect when he is discharged from hospital.

"He was taken to hospital and he can't be questioned until doctors give him the all-clear," the source said.

"He [the suspect] became ill before being taken into garda custody.

"The gardai who responded should be commended for arresting the suspect and it is important now that the victim gets the help and treatment she needs."

Offences

The number of rapes and sexual assaults carried out in the DMR North Central Division, where Monday morning's attack occurred, have increased in recent years.

Last year, there were 93 such offences recorded throughout the division, compared to 82 in 2015.

Daithi de Roiste, a Fianna Fail councillor who chairs Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee, which provides a forum where matters that affect policing can be discussed, said: "I applaud the gardai for their quick reaction and I hope justice takes its course in this case."

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