Wednesday 22 November 2017

Gardai to question teenage girl found naked and beaten in field

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

GARDAI are to question the teenage girl found naked, bruised and cut from a beating by a man known to her in Co Longford last Wednesday morning and are preparing a file for prosecution.

They arrested the man, who is from Limerick but has been living in Longford in the past year, last Wednesday, after the girl was found in a field off the main road outside Edgeworthstown.

The man, who is in his thirties and is known to gardai, was held under the Criminal Justice Act and released on Wednesday evening after questioning.

It is understood that the case is being investigated as a 'domestic' but serious incident. There was no rape but the young woman had her clothes torn off.

Gardai arrested the man after receiving a call from a foreign national living in Longford who was walking his dogs at the time, saying that a man had stripped a girl naked in a field and was beating her with a stick at Tinnymar, just outside Edgeworthstown.

The 18-year-old girl was reported to have suffered facial, head and shoulder injuries and was in a highly distressed state when gardai arrived.

It is understood that, following treatment, she left the Midlands Hospital in Mullingar on Friday in the company of two men.

She had been spoken to informally by gardai but will be asked this week to make a statement.

The girl has yet to make a formal complaint, it is understood, although this is not necessary for a prosecution if there is other evidence.

Granard gardai are investigating and have appealed for anyone who was in the area or who may have witnessed the attack to contact them on 043 6686512 or the confidential line on 1800 666 111.

The incident caused considerable shock in the area as details emerged.

Longford County Council chairman, Frank Kilbride of Fine Gael, who lives in Edgeworthstown, said: "Local people are in disbelief. They are saying, 'God you wouldn't think something of this nature would take place here'.

"The local reaction is horrified that something like this could happen."

Local Fianna Fail councillor PJ O'Reilly questioned how anyone would "leave a human being in such a condition".

He said the community was in shock as a result of the incident, all the more so as it had occurred in a rural town in the heart of Co Longford.

Sunday Independent

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