Mugging witness 'scared' to use alley

Mugging witness 'scared' to use alley

A Belfast woman who witnessed a young mother being attacked by muggers has said she has been left frightened to use the alleyway near her home.

The woman heard screams after two men dragged the victim - who was pushing her baby son in a pram - to the ground in the Roden Street area of south Belfast at 3pm on Tuesday.She was kicked in the face before her handbag was stolen.Her child was also pushed over during the ordeal, but was not harmed.Valerie Watt had been letting her dog out in the back garden when she heard the woman in trouble in the alleyway."She was in a terrible state, she was crying, she could hardly talk, the child seemed upset too," she told UTV."She just said she was attacked and she was asking me about her kids."The mother had been on her way to pick up her children from school when she was attacked."She looked hurt and her knees were dirty, she'd obviously been on the ground," Valerie continued."She was just looking at her hand because it was hurt and was holding her neck. She couldn't breathe right trying to talk to me."The woman said that witnessing the incident had left her frightened.She added: "Now that that's happened I would be very way about taking the children or walking the dog or anything down there, it's frightening to think that this has happened to a mother and child at 3 o'clock in the day."UUP councillor Bob Stoker has been speaking to the victim's husband."He was telling me that she's still very upset and obviously still in pain, she's actually back in hospital this morning," he said.Mr Stoker added that the area is normally very quiet."The alleyway is very well used by people going to nursery and primary school," he explained."There's always a lot of people about it and this has really shocked the community, they are really upset that something like this could happen during daylight hours and there really has been a reaction of total disgust."Sinn Féin councillor Deirdre Hargey called for anyone with information to come forward to police as soon as possible."This was a despicable attack on a woman and her child and it totally baffles people how these two men could carry out such an assault," she said."The local community will not feel safe until these thugs are taken off the streets and I would appeal to anyone with any snippet of information to bring it forward to the PSNI."My thoughts and that of the community are with the woman and her family and I hope she recovers from this ordeal."


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