Family plea to catch rapist who 'tied bag over victim's head'
The family of a young mother who was raped at knifepoint in her south inner city flat has pleaded with gardai to arrest the chief suspect.
The woman was targeted in the Cork Street area by a man who tied a bag over her head and subjected her to a violent sex attack. The Herald previously revealed that a criminal at large from prison is the chief suspect in the brutal rape.
A relative of the victim has now told the Herald that the woman is lucky to be alive, such were the extent of the injuries she received in the attack.
These include broken ribs that she received as she jumped over a balcony while trying to flee her attacker.
The young woman's family said it was vital that this man is stopped and arrested.
They claimed gardai do not seem to be treating the matter with any sense of urgency.
"I'm shocked she is still alive," the family member said.
"He put a knife to her throat and tied a bag over her head before raping her.
"He raped her and stuck the knife inside her. He bit her all over the chest.
"He beat her and broke a television on her head. She is unrecognisable.
"She broke her ribs as she jumped off the balcony to escape her attacker.
"I don't know how she is still alive at all."
The family claims gardai have a suspect in mind but had not arrested him.
"I've been ringing them to ask if they have got him yet, and I'm being told, 'We'll pick him up when we see him'.
"Frankly that's not good enough," said the relative.
"This guy is obviously dangerous and is a threat.
"He will do this again, in my opinion.
"Every garda in the city needs to be looking for this guy. His picture should be in every paper with a message that if he is seen people should stay away and contact gardai.
"This man has to be stopped, arrested and picked up. The whole family is devastated. He destroyed her.
"He walked out of Cloverhill and destroyed her life. We are going to contact a solicitor over this."
The relative said the woman's mother was hysterical.
A garda manhunt is ongoing for the thug who is suspected of carrying out the attack.
His image has been circulated to every garda station in the capital, and searches have been carried out at places he is known to frequent.
The rape, which occurred at 10.50pm on Monday, is being investigated by detectives at Kevin Street Garda Station.
The victim has given a detailed statement to investigators, and was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) at the Rotunda Hospital for treatment.
A source told the Herald: "Gardai at this stage are confident that they have identified the man responsible for the attack.
"The places where he normally resides have been searched, but he has not yet been found.
"The victim has injuries to her ribs and is in a bad way and is getting all the support available."
A manhunt has been under way ever since the suspect fled from Cloverhill last week. More gardai were brought in after the rape.
Sittings were under way at the court building in Cloverhill, west Dublin, when the man, who was on remand at the jail, absconded from custody.
A separate internal investigation is under way by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) to determine the exact circumstances surrounding his escape from the secure facility.
During the initial search, extra gardai, including members of the garda Air Support Unit, were brought in to assist.
The suspect was still at large last night.
Despite being the subject of a significant garda operation, he has continued to update his social media account since his escape.
Gardai confirmed that an investigation was under way, and a spokeswoman told the Herald: "Gardai are investigating an incident which occurred in Cork Street on Monday night."
Sources have described the suspect - who has clashed with gardai since he was a teenager - as highly dangerous.
"He is unpredictable and clearly off the rails," said gardai.
"He is now being investigated for a serious crime while at large and it is important that he is apprehended soon."
A number of areas have been searched in south Dublin since the suspect escaped from prison.
Gardai believe he may have been staying in the south inner city before Monday night's sex attack.