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Rapist is quizzed over string of attacks

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ATTACK: The scene where woman was targeted. Photo: Collins

ATTACK: The scene where woman was targeted. Photo: Collins

ATTACK: The scene where woman was targeted. Photo: Collins

A violent double rapist who attacked a young woman early yesterday is being investigated for a string of perverted incidents in a south Dublin suburb.

Sources say that a 22-year-old victim is lucky to have not been seriously sexually assaulted after the horror attack in Rathmines at about 12.30am yesterday.

The Herald can reveal that the rapist – believed to be one of Ireland's most dangerous men – has already served two hefty sentences for violent rape.

A senior source said: "This case just goes to show how difficult it is to police the sex offenders' register. Gardai have had major concerns about this individual.

"This man has two convictions for violent sexual offences and yet he has been living in Harold's Cross and is suspected of harassing a number of women in the Rathmines area over the last number of months.

"But it is impossible to keep surveillance on individuals like this on a 24-hour basis despite their behaviour. With the cutbacks in the garda budget it is simply not possible."

When the individual was convicted of raping a woman in the North Strand area of the capital in 2000, he was jailed for ten and a half years.

But the latest attack came not long after he was released from an eight-year sentence for a separate rape offence, also in Dublin.

Yesterday the Herald disclosed that the 22-year-old victim, who is a foreign national, had a lucky escape when she encountered the sex offender.

The victim was punched and dragged to the ground in the sickening attack.

She was walking on Effra Road when she was jumped from behind. Her screams alerted others in the area who came to her aid.

It is understood that the sex offender ran from the scene as people raced to help her.

A description of the attacker was circulated to garda units in the city and a 49-year-old man was later arrested as specialist profiles established that he was a prime suspect.

Last night, he was still being quizzed at Terenure garda station where he can be held for 24 hours

kfoy@herald.ie


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