Editorial: Despicable assault is alarming

By ANDREW AUSTIN - EDITOR

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THE CASE of a 17-year-old girl who was indecently assaulted in Onekawa yesterday morning is alarming on a couple of levels.

Firstly, and most importantly, someone has preyed upon a vulnerable young person and abused her in a dreadful way. No one has the right to violate another human being like that.

Secondly and I am not being naive when I say this what was a 17-year-old doing hanging around public toilets at 1am? Teenagers have been going out late at night forever and they will probably continue to do so, but the problem I have is where she was.

You would think that with the news full of attacks and murders these days, teenagers would have some common sense about hanging around lonely areas. I am not saying for one moment that this poor girl deserved what happened to her. It is a despicable crime and the criminal needs to be found and brought to book. Strictly speaking, people should have the right to go where they please at whatever time they want, but nowadays that is just asking for trouble. Teenagers, especially young girls, need to be careful where they go at night and who they go with.

It always astounds me driving at night when I see young teenage girls walking home along dark streets.

Unfortunately, our society is not the safe environment it may have been in the'50s and'60s. There are opportunistic predators out there, just waiting to pounce on an innocent victim.

The disturbing thing is that this is the second such attack in Napier in three weeks. On October 30, an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in broad daylight in the Georges Drive greenbelt area.

As horrific as this latest attack is, there was one ray of hope. The one good part of this story is that a passerby saw the girl in distress and stopped to help her. That shows there are decent people out there who will go out of their way to help those in need.

Anyone who knows anything about this crime or can help identify the perpetrator - a man wearing a bandanna around his face in the vicinity of the Maadi Rd shops - should contact Detective John McGregor or the Napier CIB on 06 831 0700, or phone the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111. The sooner we have this creep off our streets, the safer the community will be.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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