herald

Friday 22 June 2018

Harold's Cross sex attack suspect caught on 'high quality CCTV footage'

Gardai are looking at footage
Gardai are looking at footage

Gardai are hopeful that the suspect in a sex attack in south Dublin will be identified from CCTV footage moments before the assault.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the disturbing attack on the young woman in the Harold's Cross area at around 4am on May 20.

The victim was pinned against a car and sexually assaulted on the Mount Argus Road before a couple came across the incident and the attacker walked away.

She had met the suspect earlier that morning in the city centre, and they both walked from the Grafton Street area to Harold's Cross.

Investigators have obtained high-quality CCTV footage, which captures the route they took before the attack was carried out.

"Excellent CCTV footage has been recovered which shows the majority of the journey they took before reaching Mount Argus Road," a source said.

"The man would be identifiable to those who know him, but as of yet a prime suspect has not been identified."

Detectives believe that the woman, who comes from the Caribbean, was groped and digitally penetrated by her attacker.

He is believed to also be a foreign national - possibly from north Africa - and spoke Spanish.

Foreign

The woman reported the alleged sexual assault to officers in Naas, Co Kildare, but because of where the attack happened, gardai from Sundrive Road are investigating.

Detectives also appealed for a couple, who came across the attack and disturbed the suspect, to contact them.

It is believed that this couple prevented the sex attack from escalating to a rape, and gardai are anxious to speak to them.

Last week, gardai issued an official appeal for information in the case.

"Gardai in Sundrive Road are appealing for witnesses in connection with an alleged sexual assault that occurred in the Harold's Cross area of Dublin on May 20," a garda spokesman said.

"Between 5am and 5.30am the injured party and a male were walking out from town through Harold's Cross on to Mount Argus Road.

"At some stage along Mount Argus Road, the male forced the woman against a car and sexually assaulted her.

"He stopped when a couple approached, and the injured party walked away.

"The male is described as about 6ft, with broad shoulders, black hair and a beard. It is known that he was able to converse in Spanish.

"Gardai are appealing for witnesses and in particular this couple who saw and spoke to the male and the injured party who were standing near a car parked near Laurence Court."

Witnesses can contact Sundrive Road Garda Station on 01 6666600, the spokesman added.

Officers are expected to use a specialised computer system known as Viclas to determine if the 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.

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