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Child rape victim left for dead says she knows man responsible

A child rape victim from Newry, who earlier this year waived her right to anonymity, has spoken of her frustration over the length of time the investigation is taking.

Thirty-two-year-old Simone Cunnane was just eight when she was savagely raped and attacked near Barcroft Community Centre.

Ms Cunnane was playing with a friend at around 7pm on the evening of June 10, 1994, when her attacker approached her, before taking her to a secluded area where she was raped, beaten with a brick and left hanging from a tree to die.

She managed to get free and make her way to a nearby house before she was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital.

Her attacker was not found.

However, five years ago the case was reopened when computer generated images of the suspect were released by police.

The PSNI have handed a file on the case to the Public Prosecution Service for consideration – a move Ms Cunnane hopes will lead to the justice she craves after 24 years of hurt.

“I’m delighted that the police reopened my investigation back in February and have issued a file to the public prosecution service in an effort to secure an outcome,” she said.

“However I am not happy that it has taken this long for the police service to act. Over the years there have been significant failings in relation to my case and for that I am very disappointed in the lacklustre approach of the police.

“As a result I intend to make a complaint to the police ombudsman in the hope that they can provide an independent investigation into police failings.”

She added: “Since I went public in February I have been approached by a number of women who have indicated they have been assaulted by this particular man.

“As a result of a lack of police help these women are also making complaints to the police ombudsman in the hope that their cases can be re-examined.

“These women wish to remain anonymous, however, they along with myself are doing this to get this rapist off the streets and get the justice they deserve.

“It also sends a clear message that cases like this will not go unanswered.”

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