Belfast Telegraph

Child sexual assaults: Father of young girl 'abused by man in east Belfast' says police took an hour to respond to 999 call

Horrific case has now been referred to the Police Ombudsman

By John Mulgrew

The father of a young girl who said his daughter and her two friends were abused by a man in east Belfast has slammed police after claims officers took over an hour to respond to a 999 call for help.

In a horrific and disturbing account, he told the Nolan Show how a young man approached his six-year-old daughter, before leading her into an alleyway and exposing himself.

But he said despite multiple 999 calls, police took an hour to respond the emergency, despite being told of the severity of the alleged offence.

The attack is said to have happened in public on the afternoon of August 4.

"My wife went to see where my little girl was," he told the Nolan show.

"She shouted her name, my little girl shouted 'mummy, please come quick'".

He said his wife approached a young man, who was with his daughter and two young friends.

The father of the young girl said his daughter later told him she was brought into an entry off the street, before being abused.

"He brought them into the lane, the entry, and he had exposed himself. He made them touch him," he said.

The child's father - whose harrowing account was voiced by an actor - said the man made several sexual references to the children.

He then threatened to 'take them away' if they told anyone, the father said.

He believes the attacker is still at large.

On the day of the alleged attack, the mother of the little girl called the police after finding the man with the group of children.

He then appeared in the street 'with his top off' a few minutes later, and another 999 call was made.

It's claimed it took police over an hour to respond.

Police have said they cannot comment on the case which is currently being investigating by the Police Ombudsman.

PSNI chief superintendent Alan McCrum said: "This incident is the subject of a Police Ombudsman investigation and therefore Police are unable to comment further at this time."

East Belfast Alliance MLA Judith Cochrane said she was shocked at hearing the father's harrowing story.

"Hearing a story like this is so concerning. The lack of response, it seems, from the police, is far from satisfactory and extremely concerning," she said.

"It's something I will be speaking to them about today".

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