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Horror rape suspect on bail and set free despite violent past

The old Irish Glass Bottle site
The old Irish Glass Bottle site

Gardaí released an alleged rapist with a violent past from custody without charge - despite the suspect already being out on bail for a string of offences.

Detectives arrested the 24-year-old man after a Spanish student (18) reported she had been raped repeatedly by him after being held against her will.

The alleged rapist was already out on bail and facing charges for a wide variety of offences, including criminal damage, possession of drugs, trespassing and public order offences.

The student met the man on the Liffey boardwalk in Dublin's city centre on Saturday night.

It is understood the student is interested in photography and the man offered to take her to the beach, a nature reserve.

They then took the Luas to The Point in the capital's docklands and walked across the East Link bridge to Pigeon House Road on the southside.

The student alleged the man brought her to a tent in a location nearby and sexually assaulted her repeatedly.

She said the man eventually fell asleep and she managed to escape on Sunday morning, making her way to a house where the alarm was raised and gardaí called.

Sources said the woman presented with physical injuries.

Investigating officers from Irishtown station arrested the suspect in Ringsend on Monday morning and brought him to the station for questioning in connection with alleged rape and false imprisonment.

He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and his period of detention later extended.

But he was released without charge on Tuesday night.

Gardaí have sought CCTV footage from different areas of the city including the Dart line as part of their investigations.

A large area of the former Irish Glass Bottle site was also searched. Traders in the area have been interviewed to see if they can shed any light on the movements of the victim or the attacker.

Local sources said the glass bottle site has had sections of its security fences cut over the years, allowing people access to the massive site earmarked for future development.

"There was several people living rough down there in tents and things. Then I saw the gardaí in there on Tuesday carrying out searches. It's terrible news," said one man.

Local councillor Chris Andrews said residents are "horrified and very concerned".

He said he has requested Irishtown gardaí to increase their presence in the area through supervision.

"It is scary and it is shocking for residents and people with children.

"It is understandable but it isn't a call for a mass panic," he added.

Investigating officers will now prepare a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who will determine if charges should be brought against him in relation to the incident.

Meanwhile, the student was taken to the sexual assault unit at the Rotunda hospital for a medical examination.

Details of that examination as well as the outcome of forensic inquiries currently being completed will be included in the file to the DPP.

Officers made contact with the student's family in Spain and relatives flew to Dublin to be with her.

In one already charge facing the suspect, the 24-year-old man is currently on District Court bail after being charged following a garda investigation into an unrelated incident in the city.