Belfast Telegraph

Is this man who raped girl (8) and left her for dead 20 years ago?

By Chris Kilpatrick

Detectives believe this could be the man responsible for raping an eight-year-old girl before tying her to a tree and leaving her for dead.

Officers investigating the attempted murder and serious sexual assault of the child 20 years ago have made a new appeal to find her attacker.

The young girl was playing with a friend near Barcroft Community Centre in Newry on June 10, 1994, when she was approached by an unknown man. The attacker – aged in his late teens or early 20s – asked the children to help find his brother.

He separated her from her friend and took her to a wooded area where he attacked her.

She was subjected to a prolonged and violent sexual attack, the brutality of which is still said to haunt those in the local community.

The then chairman of Barcroft Community Association, Vincent McCormack, said the child's ordeal was "an act of depravity".

Last year police reopened the investigation into the attack.

And today, on the 20th anniversary, they made a fresh bid for new information aimed at bringing the perpetrator to justice. Detectives have appealed to members of the public who may have information and have not already contacted them to phone the investigating team.

They also want to hear from any member of the public who initially came forward in 1994 but has not made contact with the team since.

A couple who met the little boy who had been with the victim and was in a distressed state, and two boys who had been playing at the community centre on the day of the assault, are also urged to come forward.

Anybody with information is asked to contact detectives at PSNI Serious Crime Branch on 028 3836 6274, or you can contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

BACKGROUND

The eight-year-old girl was playing with a friend near Barcroft Community Centre on June 10, 1994. They were approached by a man who lured the victim away from her friend, telling her they were looking for someone.

He took her to a wooded area within Daisy Hill Nursery where he attacked her. Police are treating the attack on the child as attempted murder. A fresh investigation was launched in February of last year.

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