Peatlands Park sexual assault - suspect made off on black mountain bike

Police at the scene of the incident in Peatlands Park

Police at the scene of the incident in Peatlands Park

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Police investigating a serious sexual assault on a woman walking her dog at Peatlands Park yesterday afternoon, say the suspected assailant made off on a black mountain bike.

The attack took place at the public park on the Derryhubbert Road around 2.45pm.

Peatlands Park Dungannon

Peatlands Park Dungannon

Describing the incident as an “appalling attack”, Detective Inspector Lynne Knox said: “Police received a report that at approximately 2.45pm as a woman was walking her dog in the Peatlands Park area she was sexually assaulted by an unknown assailant.

“The male made off from the scene on what has been described as a black mountain bike.”

Inspector Knox continued: “This was an appalling attack and police are pursuing all investigative lines of enquiry and I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this assault or observed anything suspicious to contact Detectives at the Rape Crime Unit on the non-emergency number 101.

“Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Meanwhile, local councillors have called for “calm and vigilance” following the incident.

Portadown DUP councillor, Jonny Buckley, told the TIMES he had spoken to “senior police” this morning.

“I can confirm that at mid-afternoon yesterday, a serious assault of a sexual nature took place in Peatlands Park”, continued the Portadown councillor.

“This is a very alarming and distressing incident and my thoughts and prayers are with the lady involved who, I understand, was out walking at the time.”

Cllr Buckley said people in the local community were “deeply shocked” following the incident, but added: “I would call for calm and vigilance. I would urge anyone who was in Peatlands Park, and who has any information of suspicious activity, even the smallest thing, to come forward to police on 101 or even to myself in order to assist police in this investigation. This is very distressing and alarming.”

A PSNI spokesperson would only say: “Police are working to establish the circumstances surrounding the report of a serious incident that occurred in Peatlands Park on the Derryhubbert Road in Dungannon on the afternoon of Wednesday 27 April. The enquiry is at a very early stage and there are no further details available at this time.”

Local Sinn Fein councillor, Dominic Molloy, said the park was a popular visitor attraction frequented by people of all ages, including many with young families.

Cllr Denise Mullen of the SDLP also urged anyone with information about the attack to contact police.