Belfast Telegraph

Woman jogger stabbed in Northern Ireland park

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

A woman who was stabbed while jogging in a park is in a stable condition in hospital.

The victim - who is in her 20s, has asked not to be named and has declined to speak publicly about her ordeal - was attacked while running through Sixmilewater Park close to the Ballynure Road in Ballyclare.

The seemingly random attack has sent shockwaves through the community and has led to appeals for calm.

Ulster Unionist MLA for the area Danny Kinahan said: "I am pleased the woman was not badly injured. We must find out who this person was and why he did it.

"Everyone in the area is worried. There are a large number of runners and walkers using the park. I urge people not to panic."

The woman was targeted sometime between noon and 1pm on Monday by an unknown man who also appeared to have been running through the park. It is understood the pair collided and it was only after her attacker fled that she felt abdominal pain and realised she had been stabbed.

The woman was able to make her own way to Antrim Area Hospital where a spokesperson described her condition yesterday as "stable".

The perpetrator has been described as being about 5ft 5ins tall, was wearing a black hooded top and dark clothing. He used a blue scarf to cover his face.

Ballyclare Alliance councillor Pat McCudden said he was appalled by the attack.

"I am shocked and horrified that this stabbing occurred in broad daylight," he said. "I do not know what could possess a person to carry out an attack like this.

"If anybody has any information about this stabbing then I urge them to contact the police."

DUP councillor Jackie Mann added: "To think that this has happened in the middle of the day in Ballyclare is absolutely terrible. It's very disturbing."

In another incident, a 26-year-old woman was punched in the head and knocked unconscious during an assault in the Poleglass area of Belfast.

She was set upon by a gang who had been drinking at the entrance to Glenbawn Avenue. It is understood one of the men asked for a cigarette and when she refused he verbally abused her.

The victim was then followed and as she approached Ardcaoin Avenue she was punched in the back of the head and knocked to the ground. While she was lying on the ground the mob beat her about the head, face and body. She suffered a broken nose, a black eye, cuts and bruising to her arms, legs and feet.

It is believed three men and at least one woman were involved in the vicious attack.

One of them is described as in his early 20s, around 5ft 8ins tall, of a muscular build with a dash shaved into the outer edge of each eyebrow. He was wearing a blue hooded top with a large letter 'D' on the front and grey tracksuit bottoms.

Anyone with information about any of the attacks is asked to contact detectives on 0845 600 8000.

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