October 20, 2020

Police investigating Belfast knife attacks release image of man on bicycle

Police investigating five attacks on women in Belfast city centre on Monday night have released an image of a man on a bike. 

Three women were stabbed and two assaulted by a silent and hooded or masked assailant on a bicycle, using a small but sharp knife.

The victims, who were aged between 19 and 22, suffered wounds to the neck, arm and the back of the leg areas.

Police now believe the same man may have attacked another woman earlier the same evening.

Police said they are “urgently seeking to identify the male in this image to assist them with their enquiries.” 

Any information can be provided to Detectives at Musgrave CID quoting reference 1886 of 12/10/20. 

Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Speaking this morning, Chief Superintendent Simon Walls told the BBC: “Currently we’re looking at the possibility of a further assault that may have taken place earlier where a punch was involved.

“So there’s potential of a sixth victim slightly earlier in the evening,” he said.

The first stabbing happened on Ormeau Avenue at around 8.10pm while the second was reported at around 8.45pm in Donegall Square West.

The third stabbing took place on University Road at around 9.30pm.

The three women were all taken to hospital for treatment to their injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.

In the fourth attack, a woman was punched in the neck on the Upper Lisburn Road, near Dunluce Avenue, at around 9pm.

A fifth incident was reported to police yesterday morning.

During this, a woman was punched to the head on the Dublin Road at around 8.55pm by a man on a bicycle.

Police have said they can find no link between the woman who were attacked.

Mr Walls said the attacker was wearing dark clothing, possibly wearing a hooded top, cycling a mountain bike which may have a light-coloured frame and reflectors on the spokes. It is believed the man was wearing a black mask.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Walls said such attacks are “extremely rare” in Northern Ireland.

“Police are taking this investigation incredibly seriously,” he said.

“I want to reassure the community that officers will be carrying out additional patrols across the city centre and doing everything we can to arrest this man.”

 

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