NewsCrime Desk

"South Dublin sex predator stalked my wife"

John Rigney chased attacker away
John Rigney chased attacker away

A WORRIED husband has revealed how his wife escaped the serial sex predator that has struck fear into a community.

John Rigney broke his silence to warn women to be vigilant of the Shankill sex attacker. 

John revealed the terrifying ordeal to the Sunday World as cops continue their hunt to catch the pervert after several sex assaults in the leafy south Dublin suburb of Shankill. 

There have been six incidents reported to Gardaí which have spooked women in the Shankill and Killiney area – including four alleged sex attacks and a further two suspicious approaches. 

Gardai believe that just one lone predator is behind the series of sex attacks, full story here.

Cops are now trawling though CCTV footage and analysing the sex offenders register in order to identify the sicko. 

John Rigney, his wife Alison and their two young children were returning from a pleasant day in Dublin city centre when the frightening incident happened.

The Rigneys had just left Shankill Dart station last Sunday when the lurking predator began following their every step. 

Alison decided to walk ahead of her husband – although still within eyesight – in the wooded green near the station towards their home, just a short five-minute stroll away. 

Within minutes John realised that the monster was tracking his wife and raised the alarm. 

“We were walking on the path and he was walking though the wooded area following my wife,” John told the Sunday World. 

“I thought nothing of it when I saw him. It wasn’t until he actually turned into the wooded area and started to pick up pace that I thought he was acting a bit strange. Then I saw that he started to speed-up to try and catch up with my wife.

“He didn’t realise that I was behind her. It wasn’t until my wife shouted back to me that he realised she wasn’t on her own.

“That’s when he started to run, so I picked up my pace to catch up with my wife.” 

The spooked animal – described as being 5ft9in, slim build, wearing dark clothes and white runners – then darted across the road and disappeared into the bushes in a nearby estate. 

John reported the incident to local detectives, who are taking the matter very seriously. 

He said: “I had heard about the girl at the start of January and I thought that something wasn’t right. That’s when I decided to report it to the Gardaí. I had a detective at my door a short time later and we walked the area. I thought I was overreacting, but the detective said I wasn’t.

“As it stands at the moment my wife is reluctant to go outside the house on her own once it gets dark.” 

Cops were forced to meet residents in Shankill this week after 100 people protested outside Shankill Garda Station about the perceived lack of Garda presence and to raise concerns about the assaults on women. 

The first incident occurred near the Dart station on December 2 and another near the Holly Park housing estate on January 3. 

Reports of assaults were also reported on February 9 and 10 on Quinn’s Road and Military Road. 

There was also a report of a naked man ‘flashing’ on a pedestrian bridge near Foxrock church.

Inspector James Murphy said that officers are following “over 70 lines of inquiry” and patrols have been increased in the area. 

However, Inspector Murphy urged locals not to take matters into their own hands. 

“We understand your concerns but you have to leave this investigation to us. But, as always, we need your help and assistance,” he said.