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Man charged over Belfast stabbings of young women to appear in court today

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Chief Superintendent Simon Walls

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls

A 38-year-old man will appear at Belfast Magistrates court today following a series of attacks on women in Belfast.

The charges include five counts of "assault occasioning actual bodily harm", one of "attempted grievous bodily harm with intent" and one of "possession of an offensive weapon" the PSNI said last night.

The charges follow a number of stabbing incidents in Belfast at the start of the week in which several of women sustained injuries.

Three women received knife wounds to the neck, arm and back of their legs, while two others were punched in the head, in separate attacks on Monday evening in an 80-minute terror spree.

The first stabbing took place at around 8:10pm on Ormeau Avenue, the second knife attack happened at around 8:45pm on Donegall Square West, and the third took place at around 9:30pm on University Road.

Two further attacks were reported to officers after a woman was punched in the neck on Lisburn Road at around 9pm on Monday, and another attacked in the Dublin Road at 8.55pm.

The PSNI said three women were taken to hospital with injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening.

All the women have since been discharged from hospital.

The five women who were targeted for attack were all aged between 19 and 22, police said.

Some were with friends when the attacks took place,

In the wake of the stabbings, the PSNI stepped up city centre patrols, and also warned women to stay alert.

Police said the women's wounds were inflicted with a small knife, and issued a description of the attacker as wearing dark clothing and riding a mountain bike with a light coloured frame and reflectors in the spokes.

The suspect was also thought to have been carrying a backpack.

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said previously: "The injuries sustained were minor and not life threatening.

"However this does not take away from the seriousness of these incidents.

"These were frightening random attacks for these young women but thankfully incidents like this are extremely rare."

Belfast Telegraph