29/04/2002

Police appeal for information on two attacks

Detectives in Cookstown have renewed appeals for information following the brutal rape of a young woman in County Tyrone at the weekend.

At around 2am on Friday April 26 a 17-year-old girl was with a friend in the car park of the Greenvale Hotel on the Drum Road in Cookstown. Close to a wooded area the girl was dragged through bushes and subjected to a serious sexual assault. It is believed that the attack was carried out in full view of a large crowd of people who had just left a nightclub.

The male attacker is described as being approximately 5'7 or 5'8 tall of medium build. He had blond spiky hair that was shaved at the sides.

It is believed that he was wearing a dark coloured jumper and corduroy trousers and may have made off after the attack in a small red car.

Detectives have said particularly want to hear from anyone who was in the area of the Greenvale Hotel at the time of the attack or anyone who believes they recognise anyone answering the attacker's description that possibly has access to a red car.

SDLP councillor for the area Peter Cassidy said: “This is a terrible attack carried out on a young woman in the early hours of the morning in the grounds of the Greenvale Hotel. I totally condemn this attack and would appeal to women to be vigilant and take care at this time. Anyone with information should pass it on to the police.”

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old student remains in hospital following an attack in Belfast's University area at the weekend.

The assault, described by police as a "serious and vicious assault," happened at the corner of Eblana Street and University Street at about 2.30am on Sunday April 28.

Police said the victim, who is a student from Pomeroy, County Tyrone, was attacked after a row broke out with a group of men and women.

He was taken to the Belfast City Hospital a short time later and treated for head injuries.

The police said it was still not clear what the motive was, but they have ruled out any sectarian or paramilitary involvement.

(AMcE)

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