Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Newcastle rape: police trawl CCTV footage

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CCTV could hold vital clues to the rape of a 19-year-old woman in Newcastle.

The teenager was attacked near the seaside town's promenade in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police want to identify a young man who was seen in the Beach Avenue area of Newcastle at the time. He is believed to be in his late teens, about 5ft 10ins tall and of medium build. He has mid-length hair and was wearing dark blue jeans and a light T-shirt.

The victim, believed to live locally, is thought to have been attacked on Beach Avenue – a small side road leading to the recently upgraded multi-million pound promenade.

Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke said he hoped CCTV had captured an image of the man policing are hunting.

"CCTV might have some chance of capturing the alleged attacker," he said. "There is one camera on the nearby Downs Road and a couple on Main Street. I know police have also been asking round the bars for footage.

"CCTV has been in the town for the past five years and the cameras are monitored full-time. Significantly it seems they must have a good description of the boy."

Mr Clarke said the area was normally very busy at that time of the morning and expressed surprise at the attack.

"There is a very busy night-time economy and there would be a lot people milling about at that time of night in Newcastle. In fact, we have been working to address some of the anti-social impact of that night-time economy on residents living at Downs Road, by the promenade.

"As chair of the Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership I would ask for anyone with information at all about this incident to come forward to police. My thoughts are with the family and friends of this young girl and I wish her a speedy recovery."

South Down SDLP MLA Sean Rogers said that his thoughts were also with the victim.

Police said yesterday that inquiries were ongoing. Anyone who was in the area and has information about the incident, or the male, is asked to call the Rape Crime Unit on 02890 700 305.

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