Teen (17) charged with carrying out 'sickening' drill attack on woman
A 17-year-old has been charged with attacking a woman with a cordless drill in Strabane in the early hours of Saturday morning.
He has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and theft.
The teenager is expected to appear at Omagh Magistrates Court on Monday morning.
Police say the 38-year old-victim was assaulted with a cordless drill in the Railway Street area at around 2am.
She sustained a very serious head injury and was taken to hospital where her condition at present is described as critical but stable.
The 17-year-old male suspect was detained by police a short distance away from the scene.
Police believe a single person was behind the attack.
SDLP MLA for West Tyrone, Daniel McCrossan asked anyone with information to come forward.
"I am absolutely horrified by this assault. This kind of sickening behaviour has no place in society, he said.
"I would ask the community to give the PSNI the space they need to carry out their investigation swiftly and throughly. I would also appeal to anyone who may have information about this assault to contact crimestoppers immediately.
"My thoughts are with the victim and her family."
Detective Sergeant Brian Reid said police were exploring a "possible homophobic motive" for the attack.
“This was a brutal attack and the injuries sustained by the victim are extremely grave," he said.
"We are appealing for witnesses to get in touch with us. We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen a male carrying a drill in the area at around the time of the assault and we would especially like to speak to anyone who may have captured footage, either on mobile phone or dashcam.
"Anyone with such footage or any other information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact police in Strabane on 101, quoting reference number 153 05/05/18."
"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."