Northern Ireland news

Police investigating Belfast knife attacks release image of man on bicycle

 Donegal Place 
Rebecca Black, PA

Police have released an image of a man they wish to speak to following a series of assaults on women in Belfast.

Six women, aged between 19 and 22, were attacked in the south of the city on Monday evening.

Detectives investigating the incidents have gathered further information from studying CCTV footage, and released an image of a man they wish to identify.

Belfast area co-ordinator Chief Superintendent Simon Walls set out a timeline of the attacks following a review of CCTV footage.

“The first incident occurred in Castle Place at 7.42pm, in which a female pedestrian received a stab wound,” he said.

“The second stabbing occurred at 7.51pm on the Ormeau Avenue between the Linenhall Street and Adelaide Steet junctions. The third stabbing occurred at 8.56pm on Donegall Square West. In the fourth incident, which occurred at some time between 8.56pm and 9.01pm on the Dublin Road, a female received a punch to the back of her head.

“In the fifth incident at 9.01pm, another female received a stab wound as she walked along the University Road, near Mount Charles.

“In the sixth incident, a female was punched in the neck on the Upper Lisburn Road near Dunluce Avenue at around 9.03pm and we believe this to have been carried out by the same man.”

He said four of the women received treatment in hospital for puncture injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening.

“While their injuries were minor and not life-threatening, these are very serious incidents,” he said.

“These were frightening random attacks for these young women but thankfully incidents like this are extremely rare.”

Chief Supt Walls said additional patrols are being carried out across the city centre and south Belfast to reassure the community.

“We are doing everything we can to identify and arrest this man. While detectives are continuing to conduct extensive CCTV inquiries, I would appeal to any drivers who were in these areas at the times we have now identified to review any dashcam footage, and for any business owners in the relevant areas to review their CCTV,” he said.

“The man is described as wearing dark clothing, possibly wearing a hooded top, cycling a mountain bike which may have a light-coloured frame and reflectors on the spokes. We believe the man may have been wearing a black mask and wearing a backpack.

“I would encourage anyone who may have witnessed any of these incidents or anyone who was in any of these areas that may have dashcam footage to contact police at Lisburn Road on the non-emergency number 101 or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.”

 

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