Belfast Telegraph

Girl, 15, raped in Carrickfergus churchyard

By Heather McGarrigle

Community leaders in Carrickfergus have voiced outrage after a young girl suffered a brutal sexual attack in a busy town centre.

The teenager was raped after being dragged off a street in the town centre as she waited for a taxi with a female friend.

Calls have now been made for a greater police presence on the streets of the town following the vicious attack.

The victim and her friend were waiting for a their lift at around 10pm on Saturday in Lancasterian Street in the busy centre of the town.

A man dragged her into a nearby churchyard and carried out the attack.

An 18-year-old man was arrested a short time later and both girls are said to be severely traumatised.

Alliance Carrickfergus Borough councillor Sean Neeson said it was latest in a string of attacks on women in the town in recent months.

The previous incident took place on North Street around a month ago.

Councillor Neeson said there was a pressing need for more police on the streets of Carrickfergus.

He said: “It is astounding this attack took place right in the centre of town where there are a lot of people about. Although police were on the scene quickly on Saturday night, there needs to be more officers on the ground and this is an issue I will be raising at the next meeting of the District Policing Partnership.”

DUP councillor Patricia McKinney said the community was reeling after the attack, as the two girls had done all the right things to stay safe but had still been targeted on a busy street reasonably early on a Saturday night.

“You would think that two girls out at 10pm getting a taxi would be safe here — it’s not some derelict street,” she said.

“It’s a terrible shock to the whole community, especially as the victim is so young. “Parents in Carrickfergus are worrying about their own children now.”

UUP councillor Roy Beggs said his thoughts were with the victim and her friend and their families.

“It is truly shocking to hear of a young girl attacked in this way in the town centre,” he said.

“We can only hope the perpetrator will be held to account.”

Belfast Telegraph

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