Belfast Telegraph

Ulster teen’s rape ordeal amid midnight revellers

A man in his 20s is being hunted by police after an 18-year-old woman was raped at the weekend.

The teenager was attacked in Newtownards shortly after midnight on Saturday.

She was approached by a man in the Market Street area of the town at around 12.30am on Sunday, with the attack taking place nearby a short time later.

Detectives from the PSNI Rape Crime Unit, who are investigating the attack, have said someone may have noticed either the victim or her alleged attacker as there were a number of people socialising in the Market Street and Castle Street area between 12.30am and 1am.

The attacker is described as being in his 20s, around 5ft 10in tall and of thin build.

He was wearing dark denim jeans, had short, dark spiked hair, dark eyebrows and was clean-shaven with swarthy skin.

The victim, who has short, dyed red hair, was wearing a black top, black cardigan and shiny leggings.

It is thought the unusual police decision to issue a description of the victim was made in an attempt to jog the memories of any possible witnesses.

Ulster Unionist MLA David McNarry said he was horrified by the weekend attack and appealed for anyone with information to contact the police.

He said: “I am shocked and revolted to learn that a young woman was raped in the Market Street area of Newtownards in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“I know that my sentiments will be shared by the entire Newtownards community, as this type of event is the last thing one would expect to hear of in the town.

“It is absolutely essential that the person responsible is caught as soon as possible and taken off the streets so as to ensure the safety of the public.

Mr McNarry added: “My thoughts are with the victim and her family and I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time or who can assist the police in any way, to please come forward immediately.”

Anyone with information can contact the police Rape Crime Unit by calling 028 9070 0305 or anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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