Attempted schoolgirl abduction reported to Bray Garda

 

GARDAÍ ARE investigating a report that a 10-year-old schoolgirl managed to escape from a man who tried to abduct her in his car.

The child was being interviewed last night by gardaí trained in dealing with child witnesses who have been through trauma.

The girl has told gardaí that while walking to school yesterday morning in Bray, Co Wicklow, she was approached by a man.

The girl said the man briefly engaged her in conversation before putting her into the back of his car in an apparent abduction attempt. She said she managed to get out of the vehicle and run to safety, raising the alarm when she arrived at her nearby school.

The girl has said her escape was only made possible when the car became stuck in rush-hour traffic, presenting her with an opportunity to run. She had been waiting for a friend to walk to school with when she was approached.

The alleged abduction occurred on the Boghall Road at 8.35am. The girl’s school is the Bray School Project national school on Killarney Road, around the corner from the site of the incident.

The car used by the suspect is described as a white four-door, possibly a VW Golf. The suspect is described as being in his 30s. Reports suggest the car was driven off at speed in the direction of the N11.

The matter is being treated by gardaí as a “suspicious approach”.

When the girl raised the alarm with the school authorities, they immediately contacted her parents and gardaí.

The school and other schools in the area then contacted all parents by text informing them that gardaí were investigating a report of an alleged abduction. The text to the parents advised vigilance.

The girl at the centre of the case spoke to gardaí yesterday. However, Garda sources said such incidents were extremely stressful for children and that it was only when specialist interviewers with experience of dealing with children had spent some time with the girl that a clearer picture might emerge.

The girl’s school principal Carol Lanigan said the incident was “awful”. When asked how the child was following her ordeal, she said: “She’s absolutely grand, absolutely fine; a brilliant kid.”

Garda sources said there had been no similar cases reported in the area of late. The investigation team in Bray is reviewing CCTV from the area to try to identify the car the girl described.

Garda Det Insp Frank Keenaghan said the area would have been very busy at the time, with people driving to work and children going to school. He appealed for anybody who saw anything suspicious to contact the Garda.