herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Three main suspects in knifepoint rape are all from the same family

Gardai at the scene of the brutal attack
Gardai at the scene of the brutal attack
A shoe is removed from the area by forensic gardai
Gardai at the scene of the brutal attack

The chief suspects in a horrific rape in west Dublin all come from the same family, the Herald can reveal.

The violent attack occurred last Thursday as the victim was making her way home from a local garage and three men attacked her.

One of the men raped the young mum during the ordeal.

Gardai have so far arrested two people in relation to the incident and it is believed the third suspect is now in hiding.

The men, who live in the west Dublin area, are known to gardai but are not considered major criminals.

Despite investigating gardai following a definite line of inquiry, they have not been able to locate one of the suspects and fear that he is on the run. It is believed he is still in the country.

"Detectives called to his home on Friday but he wasn't there. He wasn't spotted over the weekend and it appears that he has fled the area," a source said.

Threats

"A number of online threats have also been issued, with local criminals threatening to kill the men involved.

"This - as well as being afraid of being arrested - may be the reason why he has gone on the run," the source added.

Online threats have been directed at the perpetrators since the morning of the attack, and it is understood that the names of individuals suspected of involvement were shared.

Two men, aged in their late teens and early 20s, were arrested by gardai and questioned at Lucan Garda Station over the weekend, before being released without charge.

Previously, the Herald revealed the two men had racked up 30 convictions between them and were out on bail for unrelated offences at the time of the attack.

Gardai have received a massive response from the public since issuing their appeal for information on the brutal attack.

It is understood the victim of the attack, who is in her 30s, was returning home after stopping at a Clondalkin petrol station to buy groceries.

She was pushing her bicycle along the footpath away from the direction of Clondalkin village after leaving the garage when she was grabbed by the three men.

Though the woman was threatened at knifepoint during her ordeal, there is no indication that the weapon was used on her. The victim did not know her attackers.

After raising the alarm, the woman was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital.

Last Friday morning, gardai from the technical bureau recovered the victim's bicycle from the scene.

A running shoe and other items were also collected for forensic examination.

Interview

Specialist gardai from the Clondalkin district will interview the victim further about the attack. It is expected that gardai will establish more details about the incident during this interview.

Sinn Fein TD Eoin O Broin previously described how people were outraged following the attack.

"My thoughts are with the victim. The local community are very shocked but also very angered," Mr O Broin said.

"A crime like this will create a significant amount of fear in the area. I would urge anyone with information to contact the investigating detectives.

"It is the third such attack in the area in recent times, and we must do all we can to make sure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice and that it doesn't happen again."

Gardai are continuing to appeal for information.

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