Police have issued a description of a man they want to speak to in relation to the rape of a young girl in west Belfast.
The girl in her early teens was raped in the badly-lit, tree-lined Laurel Glen area of the Stewartstown Road on Saturday evening. The open space connects two housing areas.
A police spokesman said detectives believe the attacker spoke to his victim as she walked along the Suffolk Road, close to its junction with Woodburn Crescent, at around 8pm
He is described as being aged between 40 and 50-years-old, 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins and of average build.
He had short brown or ginger hair and stubble, and was wearing a dark jacket and dark trousers or jeans. The attacker may also have been wearing glasses. Police urged anybody who saw a young girl walking in the area on Saturday evening, either alone or with a man.
On March 27 another victim, in her 20s, was sexually assaulted in the nearby Lagmore Avenue area.
Pam Hunter, chief executive of Nexus, which supports rape victims in Northern Ireland, said rape crime has a horrendous knock-on effect on the victim and urged people to come forward so the perpetrators can be caught. She added: “I would also urge anyone who has been a victim of such a crime to come to Nexus for support.
“The onus is on society as a whole to protect us all. Women should be aware of their surroundings, let people know where they are and, if possible, travel in pairs at night.”
While he is not linking the two incidents, SDLP councillor for the area Brian Heading said it was “extremely worrying”.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at the rape crime unit, Ladas Drive, on 0845 600 8000. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.