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Residents rush to help 'victim of sex assault' in Co Armagh

The victim of an alleged sexual assault was helped by the residents of a Co Armagh village as she fled her attacker
The victim of an alleged sexual assault was helped by the residents of a Co Armagh village as she fled her attacker
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

The victim of an alleged sexual assault was helped by the residents of a Co Armagh village as she fled her attacker.

PSNI detectives are investigating a report of a serious sexual assault on a woman in the Castleblayney Street area of Newtownhamilton.

Police were alerted to an incident in the village on Thursday afternoon.

It was reported that the woman ran from a property shortly after 2pm following the alleged attack by a male.

In a distressed state, the woman was comforted by local people in a nearby street who contacted the police.

A 38-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of rape and threats to kill and remained in police custody yesterday, the PSNI said in a statement.

Sinn Fein councillor Barra O Muiri praised the response of local residents who went to the aid of the woman.

In particular, the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council representative highlighted the actions of one family. According to Mr O Muiri, members of the household were kept from the property until after 8pm to enable the serious crime unit to carry out an examination of the scene.

The councillor said the circumstances surrounding the incident had shocked the community and left local residents deeply concerned.

"All agencies involved must continue to work with myself and community activists to ensure that the fears of this community are allayed," he commented.

"The victim was eventually taken to hospital, while the alleged assailant was swiftly placed under arrest," the councillor revealed.

Detective Inspector Leah Crothers urged any witnesses or anyone who can assist with the investigation to contact the PSNI using the non emergency number, 101.

"Our enquiries are continuing and we are appealing to anyone with information to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 945 of 15/08/19," she appealed.

"We would like to thank those members of the local community who came to the aid of the victim," the detective added.

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