Northern Ireland

Missing convicted rapist provokes reaction from victim

Edward Connors
Image caption Police have issued an arrest warrant for Edward Connors who breached his probation.

A woman raped by a teenager, who is now missing after breaching the conditions of his probation, says it has stirred up feelings she thought she had "put to rest".

Winnie Li was attacked by Edward Connors in Colin Glen Forest Park in west Belfast in April 2008.

He served four years and was released in March.

Mr Connors, who is now 19, was due to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday morning but he did not turn up.

An arrest warrant has been issued.

He was to answer a charge of breaching one of the conditions of his probation, in that on two occasions since last month he had failed to "complete an individual programme of work to address his sexual offending."

He was given an eight-year jail sentence following the attack on Ms Li, who waived her right to anonymity.

The American was studying in Cork and was sight-seeing in the forest park during a visit to Northern Ireland when the attack happened.

Ms Li said she had worked hard since her ordeal to get "past the attack" and to put her "life back together".

"Suddenly I was like this person who disrupted my life four years ago is in a bizarre way disrupting my life again even though I live on the other side of the world," she said.

"It is strange and disturbing that someone who was capable of doing that four years ago is now out and kind of essentially on-the-run.

"If I were living in Belfast I would feel unsafe in case he held me responsible for putting him behind bars.

"I don't think he's a safe person to have on the streets."

She added: "I don't think it should be cause for hysteria because even if he's caught there are lots of other people out there."

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