A young couple were brutally assaulted while crossing this Lismore sporting field early yesterday.
A young couple were brutally assaulted while crossing this Lismore sporting field early yesterday.

Brutal sex attack

By Zoe Satherley

A young woman was chased by a man across a Lismore sports field, caught and then allegedly sexually assaulted in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Her boyfriend was jumped on by two other thugs, who allegedly bashed him so badly that he suffered a suspected fractured jaw.

Both were taken to Lismore Base Hospital for treatment and counselling.

The 19-year-old girl was with a 20-year-old male companion when the assault happened at 3.45am. Det Snr Const Dave Mackie said the pair were on Mortimer Oval, opposite McDonalds, near the cricket nets, when they were approached by three males who demanded their property.

The female ran off through the park towards Dawson Street, but was chased by one of the alleged offenders.

He caught her in the middle of the oval where he allegedly sexually assaulted her, Det Snr Const Mackie said.

The two other alleged offenders remained with the male victim and allegedly bashed him.

He received facial injuries and a suspected fractured jaw.

The shocking incident follows other recent attacks on Northern Rivers women.

A 19-year-old English tourist was raped at Clarks Beach, Byron Bay, last Wednesday when her boyfriend walked to the toilet and left her alone on the beach for a short while.

The backpacker and her boyfriend had arrived in Byron Bay two weeks previously and had spent several nights sleeping on Clarks Beach.

When her boyfriend left about 6am, the woman was approached by the rapist and attacked, igniting the fears of other travellers to the popular tourist town.

The Lismore community is also on tenterhooks following the mysterious death of German tourist Simone Strobel, 25, whose body was found last month about 400 metres from where yesterday's alleged attack happened.

Duty Officer Insp Bill McKenna yesterday appealed for anyone with information on any of the crimes to please come forward and call Lismore Police on 6623 1599.

He said police are seeking three men of Aboriginal appearance in relation to yesterday's alleged assault on the couple.

Asked if he thought the crime was related in any way to the death of Ms Strobel, Insp McKenna would only say 'I don't believe so'.



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