Northern Ireland

Appeal over sex attack on 76-year-old in Newtownards

Police officer

Police have revisited the scene of a sex assault on a 76-year-old woman in Newtownards to appeal for information a week after the attack.

The pensioner was assaulted at her home at Upper Greenwell Street in the town at about 2200 GMT on Sunday 13 March.

The attacker was described as being in his late 20s.

The MP for the area, Jim Shannon of the DUP, said there was a sense of revulsion and disbelief in the community following the attack.

He visited the victim and her family on Sunday night and said they had been left traumatised by what had happened.

"What we're seeking to do is to make sure the general public and the people who live in the area co-operate with the PSNI to ensure that the person responsible is caught," Mr Shannon said.

"That's what the community want - they want this person caught and put in jail."

SDLP councillor Joe Boyle said the incident was "horrendous".

"People in Newtownards are in a state of disbelief that something so evil has happened in their community.

"To attack anyone in this way is contemptible, but to target a vulnerable elderly person and sexually abuse them is totally depraved."

Police have said they have increased patrols in the area and neighbourhood officers have been talking with residents.

The attacker was described as having dark hair and was wearing a dark tracksuit with a red stripe down the legs.

Police want anyone with information to contact them at the Rape Crime Unit on 0845 600 8000 or on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.