herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Gardai hunt sex fiend after park attacks

FEMALE walkers and joggers in the city have been put on alert after a runner was savagely attacked in a South Dublin park.

The woman – who is only recently married – was jogging when a man dragged her to the ground and put a flex around her and tried to drag her into bushes.

BUGGIES

Another two women, who both were out walking with their babies in buggies, have also revealed that they too were set upon.

Gardai are now desperately trying to track down the man.

Women have been warned not to walk or jog alone following reports that a man is randomly attacking females in broad daylight around Southside public parks and cemeteries.

The attacks have caused panic and fear among women in the Tallaght and Clondalkin areas of the capital. Gardai issued the warning following confirmation that they are investigating an assault in the Kingswood area around 11.30am on Monday.

Locals say the woman, in her mid 20s, was jogging in a park known locally as Kingswood Castle when the man grabbed her and wrapped the cord around her neck.

He then dragged her towards bushes before the woman put up an extraordinary fight.

The frightened woman managed to fend off her attacker, but suffered facial injuries and is severely shaken following her ordeal. The victim's sister spoke about her terrifying ordeal last night.

A similar incident was reported to have occurred near Bohernabreena cemetery on the same day. The woman escaped without harm after she was attacked by a man also using a cable or rope.

There has also been reports of a third attack in Watergate Park, Tallaght, on Wednesday in which a woman was dragged into the bushes and brutally assaulted as her baby lay screaming in its buggy. In two of the three alleged incidents, the young women who were attacked were pushing buggies.

A garda patrol car was spotted in Bohernabreena yesterday, and it also did a circuit of the cemetery as investigations into the attack continue.

VIGILANT

In a statement Dublin South West Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe urged people to be vigilant.

Deputy Crowe said “A number of women have been attacked in the Tallaght area and in the latest quite horrendous incident, which occurred on Monday near Newland's Cross Cemetery, a woman was targeted in what many local people believe was a sexuallymotivated assault.

“The assailant attempted to subdue his victim by tying their hands with rope, and when they resisted one of the women was punched repeatedly on the head and had to have emergency surgery carried out on her skull.

“She could have died in the incident and her attacker only fled the scene when the screams of his victim alerted passersby.”

A garda spokesman told the Herald: “We always urge women to take a common sense approach to their safety.

“If going for a walk, try to go with another person, let someone else know where you plan to walk, and carry a phone if possible,” he said.

The garda spokesman added that concerned members of the public can consult the Garda website for further personal safety information.

He said the public may also consult with their local Gardai who would be happy to issue advice through the local Community Policing Officer.

Gardai have confirmed that they are conducting a thorough investigation into the Kingswood incident which is being probed by officers from Clondalkin Garda Station.

This morning, gardai said they only had complaints in relation to one of the three incidents. “We don't have reports of the two later alleged incidents at this stage,” said a source.

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