Belfast Telegraph

Find trio who did this, pleads 51-year-old victim of gang rape attempt

BY REBECCA BLACK

A 51-year-old woman has tearfully told of how she was beaten like an animal by three men who went on to try to rape her.

Donna Hawkins, from north Belfast, was left with a broken nose and fractured cheekbones as well as cuts and bruises across her body in the vicious attack.

She has taken the unusual step of speaking publicly in an appeal for information about her attackers to try and protect other women in the area.

The mother-of-three had been leaving a charity function at the Crumlin Star social club shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Her intention had been to walk the short distance to her home in the Mountainview area.

She told the BBC that her husband was chatting to some friends and that she had walked on ahead of him.

As she approached an alley at Balholm Drive she said she saw a figure whom she recognised.

"I thought I was safe walking by this person, and unfortunately I wasn't.

"I was attacked from behind and very badly beaten," she said.

"There were two other people in the entry with him. He knows who they are and they know who they are.

"I have bruises, I have stitches, and I was beaten like an animal from head to toe, for no reason at all," she said.

"They tried to rape me; they didn't succeed but they kicked me from head to toe and tried to destroy me."

She said she had kicked and screamed while attempting to fight and defend herself from "three brutal animals".

Ms Hawkins said she believes the gang fled because they feared people around would hear her screams.

She has urged anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious to come forward.

"I'm begging people to please help me, to come forward, because this area cannot live with any more heartbreak and destruction," she said.

She said her extended family circle did not want anyone to experience the same ordeal.

"I want help from the people and the district," she added.

"People know me, and I was not drunk by any stretch of the imagination.

"I was quite sober, and that's the point.

"Whoever it was attacked me thought they were attacking someone who was drunk, but that was not the case.

"Next week it may be someone's daughter, a young girl coming out of a fundraiser, as happened to me. We should all be able to walk in our own streets at any time of the day or night.

"It's not fair that they should be allowed to roam and attack women, or anybody. It's just not fair."

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