Shock after rape

RESIDENTS in Drumbeg have expressed their shock at last week’s rape of a woman in the estate.

Police are investigating what they described as a ‘serious sexual assault’ in the area which took place on Thursday evening last.

For many residents in the estate - including the residents’ association - the first they heard of the incident was during news bulletins over the weekend, with police only releasing details of the incident at 4.25pm on Saturday.

It was also revealed three children aged from three years old to just seven months were in the house at the time.

Detectives of the PSNI’s Rape Crime Unit have released descriptions of two men in connection with the attack, which happened at Drumbeg South.

The first man is described as being 6”6’, of thin build with large brown eyes. He is described as speaking with a local accent.

He was described as wearing a dark ‘V’ necked t-shirt, black trousers/jeans straight leg and tight fit, dark boots trainer style boots, dark gloves leather/suede material and woollen between the fingers, dark coloured scarf/snood around his neck which went up to below his eyes (described as like something worn under a motor bike helmet) and a khaki green monkey hat pulled down to above eyes.

The man may also have had a tattoo on one of his arms of a black outline, green background with black writing.

The second man is described as 5”10, of stout build and spoke with a local accent. He is described as wearing dark clothing and a balaclava pulled down over his face with eye holes cut out.

At around 10.10pm, it was reported that two unknown masked men entered a house in the area and sexually assaulted a female resident. The woman was taken to hospital for treatment after the incident.

It is also believed there was a three-year-old, two-year-old and a seven-month old baby present in the house at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Mahon Road in Portadown on 3836 6274.

Alternatively, information on crime can be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

Local representatives have expressed their shock and revulsion at the incident - which follows the gang rape of a woman in Lurgan on July 13.

Of particular concern to some was the news the assailants spoke with local accents.

Tommy Sheridan of Drumbeg Community Association expressed the shock many in the estate felt at the report: “We are totally shocked. It just came to light on Saturday evening and it was the first anyone in the area had heard of it.

“This is a very worrying incident, especially when they say the attackers spoke with local accents. We hope the girl is okay and wish her a speedy recovery.”

SDLP Craigavon councillor Joe Nelson said there is a real sense of shock following reports of a rape of a woman in a house at Monbrief whilst her three children were in the property.

Mr Nelson said the area was similarly shocked when a rape occurred in Lurgan recently.

He said: “Once again there is a real sense of shock in the area. My thoughts are with the victim of this sinister and evil act. Indeed, the trauma experienced by her children will be difficult to overcome.

“It’s hard to put in words what would drive people to commit such a depraved crime. Any right-thinking person would condemn this.

“Those responsible need to be caught immediately and I urge anybody with information, however small, to pass it to the police.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Tommy O’Connor has spoken of his disgust at the attack.

Cllr O’Connor said: “This assault was a violation of a woman, a home and a family and the local community are totally disgusted.

“It is in the interest of not only the local residents but of the wider community that those responsible for this attack and anyone who in any way assisted them are removed from our society as quickly as possible.

“Anyone with any information, no matter how small or how irrelevant it might seem, should ensure that the proper authorities are informed immediately.”