Rape scene residents demand more security
By BREE PRICE
THE SEXUAL assault of a 19year-old Lismore woman at Mortimer Oval has left residents of nearby streets calling for more lighting and security cameras.
Father-of-two Warren Mason, who lives only metres from Mortimer Oval, said better lighting near the sporting fields would help residents feel safer.
Mr Mason said he feared for the safety of his family after the woman and a 20year-old man, also from Lismore, were on the oval at about 3.45am on Sunday when they were approached by three men who demanded money.
The female ran towards Dawson Street, but was chased by one of the men and sexually assaulted.
The 20-year-old man was bashed and received serious facial injuries.
"It isn't safe for women to walk around," Mr Mason, 27, said.
"More surveillance cameras are needed. It costs a lot of money, but the presence of the cameras would act as a deterrent."
Mr Mason said the death of German backpacker Simone Strobel added to his fears for the safety of his family.
Simone's body was found near the Lismore Continental Club on Uralba Street, across the road from Mortimer Oval.
"I live with my partner and her sister, and I am always wary for them.
"I'm more protective of them now."
Two residents of Brewster Street, a road that borders one side of Mortimer Oval, also said more street lighting was needed.
A 37-year-old man, who asked not to be identified, said he would no longer walk across the oval at night.
"It's concerning what's going on. There is really bad lighting around the place. The Square is lit up, but nothing else," he said.
"Lighting would stop people congregating around the park."
Lismore mayor Merv King said yesterday the council was looking at the situation, but it was too early to set out any specific plans.
Lismore detectives are appealing for witnesses and would like to speak to three men who are described as of Aboriginal appearance, two aged in their mid-20s and one in his mid-30s.
They were last seen wearing dark clothing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Lismore detectives on 6623 1599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.