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Woman raped in Limavady

Police are hunting for a man accused of raping a young woman in Limavady in an attack that has horrified the community.

The woman, in her 20s, is recovering from her ordeal which happened in the town centre in the early hours of Sunday morning.

She was attacked in an alleyway near Catherine Street shortly after 2am by a man believed to be in his 20s or possibly younger.

Eileen Calder, founder of the Rape Crisis Centre, said it is essential the perpetrator is apprehended by police as quickly as possible and urged anyone with information to go to police immediately.

“It is desperately important that this man is arrested and taken off the streets so that other women are not put in danger,” she said.

“The fact that this man is so young, in his 20s or even in his teens, means that something may be done to change him so that he doesn’t turn into a person who destroys countless women’s lives.”

Ms Calder said there is a severe lack of statutory support for survivors of sexual violence in Northern Ireland.

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“There is no dedicated organisation that deals with rape in the area, but there are charitable organisations that do some very good work and hopefully this woman will be able to access them when the time comes.”

The mayor of Limavady, Cathal McLaughlin, said he was appalled and disgusted to learn that a woman had been attacked in the town. “My prayers and thoughts are with her,” he said.

“This monster must be apprehended and put before a court immediately to calm the fears of other women in the town.

“At that time of the night the Catherine Street area would be packed with people on their way home from night clubs in the area.

“Someone must have seen something,” he said.

“From the bottom of my heart I appeal to everyone in the area at that time to contact the PSNI.”

Detectives from PSNI's Rape Crime Unit are appealing for information relating to the attack.

The attacker is described as being in his early 20s or younger, approximately 5ft 9in or 5ft 10in, with short, brown, spiky hair.

He was wearing a blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, narrow-legged cream-coloured chinos and he had a rubber charity band on his right arm.

Anyone who witnessed the attack or who knows this man is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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