herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Gardai fear park jogger stalker may have struck before

A SHOCKING attack on a woman jogger in Dublin could be linked to another in Cork two months ago.

A 27-year-old mother-of-one was lucky to survive with her life after the man attacked her, breaking her nose and attempting to strangle her at Ballymount Park, near Tallaght, at 11.45am on Monday.

Up to 20 detectives from Clondalkin Garda Station are working on the case and gardai have used a specialised computer system known as VICLAS to determine if Monday's crime is linked to other similar crimes.

VICLAS, the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, is a computer system developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the early 1990s to compare different crimes for similarities.

Within hours of Monday's attack, local detectives provided information to specialist officers in Harcourt Square Garda Station, who inputted the data into VICLAS.

"It showed that the Ballymount attack could be linked to a similar attack on a female in Cork city in March of this year. This is one of the stronger lines of enquiry at the moment," a source explained.

"We believe that this individual intended to kill the victim. This was an extremely violent and disturbing crime," the source added.

The VICLAS system was set up here by gardai in 2005 and it links crimes by using behavioural analysis and geographical profiling, as well as traditional lines of enquiry.

The Tallaght-based victim of Monday's attack was too traumatised to speak to the Herald yesterday but sources say that she has provided gardai with key information about her attacker.

The man is described as around 30 years of age, of average height and build and with short dark hair, and was wearing a black leather jacket. He did not speak during the attack.



lucky

Gardai are appealing to motorists who travelled on the M50 between Junction 10 Ballymount and Junction 9 Red Cow between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Monday and who may have noticed a man fitting this description to contact them.

The victim's sister said the young mum was lucky to be alive.

She explained: "Luckily, she is OK. Looking back on it, she was 99pc dead. His intentions were to kill her.

"The next girl that he approaches and does what he wants to do in his sick mind won't be so lucky.

"A psycho like that didn't succeed in killing my sister so he is still out there. He is going to go and try to kill again."

The victim suffered serious facial injuries during the attack but her sister said that she is making a very good recovery and is receiving great support from her extended family.

Her sister explained: "She has a small break to her nose and a small break to her cheekbone, but they'll heal themselves. She has cuts and bruises. Her neck is quite sore, she can't move her neck. It's the trauma of the whole thing I am worried about.

"Where she lives, she is going to have to see that park every day now. I would like to warn women not to walk alone in the park."

kfoy@herald.ie

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