Lisburn woman (18) in fear after street assault while walking home
An 18-year-old Lisburn woman has told of her terror after she was attacked from behind by a man as he tried to steal her bag while she walked home.
Waitress Rebecca Porter King was dropped off at the shops at Ballymacash by a colleague after work at around 10pm on Tuesday.
As she got out of the car, she saw a suspicious-looking man in his 20s wearing a black baseball cap.
She was walking to her home, a five-minute walk away in Glenwood Court, when she noticed the man following her.
Frightened, she rang her boyfriend to tell him of her suspicions, although he initially thought she was just playing a prank.
When she rang her mother and told her what was happening, she told her to try to raise the alarm.
Rebecca tried to do so, only to be followed by the man who then grabbed her from behind, tried to take her apron and bag, and kneed her in the back.
Visibly shaken, she ran to her house and told her boyfriend what had happened. He quickly ran out into the street but was unable to catch the man.
"I was never so frightened," she said.
"I was never afraid to walk home and my work colleague only dropped me off as I knew it was just a five-minute walk home.
"The most frightening thing is the man was not easily fobbed off and came right up to my home and now knows where I live."
The police took her apron, bag and clothes including her trousers and top for forensic examination.
"It was so frightening," she said. "I think that it was my money that he was after but the fact that he grabbed my apron, ripped the handle off my bag and chased me to my house, he was not being put off so easily."
"There are normally children playing about the streets and if he had got one of them, goodness knows what would've happened," she said.
"Now if I go outside at all I think that someone is going to pop out and grab me."
Rebecca wants to warn other women not to walk home alone until the man is caught.
"My advice is not to walk home alone and to make sure they get a taxi home," she said.
"Some people that I have told have said, why didn't you not do this or that. It is not that easy," she stressed.
"He came from behind me and I was frightened.
"I have never been frightened to walk home alone before because you think that these sort of things only ever happen to other people, not to yourself."
Rebecca put a post up on Facebook on Wednesday night warning women to be careful.
She was told that the same thing had happened to another woman who claimed that she was pinned up against a wall as she walked home.
"I had only started my new job as a waitress.
"Tuesday night was just my third shift in a restaurant near the Omniplex and already I have no uniform as all my clothes were taken away to be examined by the police," the teenager said.
Rebecca praised the PSNI for their promptness at arriving so soon after the event.
Dog handlers were quickly at the scene, as was an ambulance crew.
Police later placed leaflets through the doors of homes in the area.
Rebecca added: "The man had one hand in his pocket when this happened. I thought he was going to pull out a knife.
"If I go out now at all I fear that he is still about.
"I could not sleep on Tuesday night after the incident. I was in a lot of pain in my back and shoulder and I was left with a few bruises.
"I had to put freeze spray to ease the pain but apart from feeling frightened I was all right."
Police in Lisburn appealed for anyone who may have seen anything in the area to contact them.