Parents fear child predator
By JANE GARDNER and RENEE REDMOND
CONCERNED mother Christine Devine is calling for Lismore parents to be aware of their children's safety when walking home from school. Ms Devine now refuses to let her 11-year-old daughter walk home from school alone after an attack on a 14-year-old girl on Union Street at South Lismore last week.
It's the same route Ms Devine's daughter Dellilah walked on her way home from South Lismore Public School on the day of the incident.
"As parents we should be very concerned because we didn't find out until five days after it happened and this guy could've got any one of our kids within that time," Ms Devine said.
She said police needed to inform schools and parents of a threat in the area. The mother and other parents have raised the issue with the police.
Fellow parent Gabrielle Inman, the director of Women's Affairs at Southern Cross University, supports Ms Devine and says the issue needs to be addressed with an extensive education campaign.
"In light of recent events I think parents have every right to be worried about the safety of our children," she said.
"We'd like to see council and the police work together in the community to help get kids home safer."
South Lismore Public School principal Erwin Bates said he planned to speak to students about the matter at tomorrow's assembly.
"We are aware of the situation and have discussed it at staff level. We want to make sure parents and students are aware of what's going on without alarming them," he said.
Richmond Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Dave Larkin said the girl had described her attacker as Caucasian, about 180cm tall, aged in his mid-20s with short black hair and a solid build.
On the night of the attack he was clean shaven and wearing a baseball cap and a maroon shirt.
He was seen riding away on a mountain bike towards Bridge Street.