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shocking assault Gardai identify boy (13) as 'person of interest' in probe into attack on woman in Cork

The woman, who is in her 20s, was walking home alone when she was attacked without warning.

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Pictured: Evergreen Street (Photo: Google Maps)

Pictured: Evergreen Street (Photo: Google Maps)

Pictured: Evergreen Street (Photo: Google Maps)

Gardaí investigating a violent assault on a young woman as she walked home alone in Cork now fear her attacker may have been in his early teens.

The assault occurred last Saturday evening in Cork's south city centre and was described by investigating officers as “particularly nasty”.

The woman, who is in her 20s, was walking home alone when she was attacked without warning by a young male in the Evergreen Street area shortly before 11.30pm.

She was punched and kicked several times during the attack which left her bruised and battered.

Her attacker ran at her from behind - and knocked the woman to the ground.

Such was the force of one of the blows that the young woman was later treated for a suspected broken jaw.

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Pictured: Evergreen Street (Photo: Google Maps)

Pictured: Evergreen Street (Photo: Google Maps)

Pictured: Evergreen Street (Photo: Google Maps)

The woman desperately screamed for help and struggled with her attacker who then fled the scene on foot when concerned locals came to her aid.

She was able to raise the alarm and was later taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for treatment.

Her injuries were not life threatening.

The woman was treated for bruises and cuts to her face and head as well as a suspected fracture to her jaw.

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She was discharged from CUH on Monday and has been able to offer gardaí details of her ordeal.

One Garda source described the attack as "particularly nasty" with the woman having been kicked while lying defenceless on the ground.

"She was very lucky to have avoided more serious injuries - it was a very nasty assault," one Garda source said.

It has now emerged that a person of interest in the Garda investigation is a boy of just 13 years old.

The teen was caught by one CCTV security camera walking a short distance behind the young woman just minutes before she was assaulted.

The young age of the person of interest has shocked Gardaí given the vicious nature of the attack on the young woman.

Detectives are now examining CCTV security camera footage from the area in a bid to determine the movements of the attacker.

The motive for the attack remains unclear.

Detectives are satisfied that the attack was random.

However, gardaí believe the attacker may have stalked the young woman for some distance from the city centre before attacking her.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who spotted suspicious activity in the area last Saturday to contact them.

It is understood they have obtained a good description of the attacker.

CCTV security camera footage is expected to play a crucial role in the investigation.

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