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'Terrified' Woman sexually assaulted while out walking in Fermoy in Cork

Two people out walking nearby approached the scene after hearing what they thought were the cries of a woman for aid and the attacker immediately fled.

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A MIDDLE-aged woman was left terrified after she was attacked and sexually assaulted while out walking in a Cork town on Sunday evening.

Gardaí have now appealed to members of the public for information and are checking CCTV security camera footage in Fermoy, Co Cork in a bid to trace the lone attacker.

The incident occurred between 6.30pm and 7pm on Sunday as the woman was out walking her dog in an area near the Loreto secondary school and St Colman's College, on the southside of the north Cork town.

The woman, who is in her 50s, was approached by a lone male, was struck without warning and knocked to the ground.

The male is understood to be in his 20s or 30s.

While she was laying dazed on the ground, the man sexually assaulted her.

However, two people out walking nearby approached the scene after hearing what they thought were the cries of a woman for aid and the attacker immediately fled.

It is understood he had taken several small items from the woman's bag.

Gardaí fear that, but for the approach of the individuals involved, the assault may have been much more serious.

The woman was very distressed at the scene and was later taken to a Cork hospital for treatment.

Her injuries are not serious but she was very distraught.

The area involved was sealed off for a full forensic and technical examination.

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Detectives hope to speak with the woman over the coming days.

Gardaí said they are hopeful the attacker involved will be traced quite quickly given the residential nature of the area involved, the number of people out walking locally on Sunday evening and the number of CCTV security cameras on both local homes and businesses.

Anyone who witnessed suspicious activity in the area near the Loreto sports grounds is asked to contact Fermoy Gardai on (025) 82100 or their nearest Garda station.

The area where the attack occurred is very popular with walkers and is near both an all-weather pitch and a paved track for those seeking exercise.

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