Boy due in court after drill attack on woman in Strabane

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He is also alleged to have unlawfully and maliciously caused grievous bodily harm to Ms McLaughlin or meant to do her GBH, and is further accused of stealing a power drill belonging to the nightclub.

Brenda McLaughlin, 38, sustained a severe head injury in the drill assault on a main street in Strabane, Co Tyrone, in the early hours of Saturday.

On Sunday, the woman was reported as being in a "stable condition in a critical care unit" in hospital.

Det Sgt Brian Reid said: "This was a brutal attack and the injuries sustained by the victim are extremely grave".

A 17-year-old male has been arrested a short distance away from the scene of the incident in Railway Street and remains in custody.

The attacker told the court that he was very drunk and has no memory of how he got the drill or assaulting the woman.

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Numerous attacks occurred when children were out gathering mangoes or when they left their homes to use outhouse toilets, he said. After an operation is launched to catch them, herd of stray dogs are now moving to newer areas to target their victims.

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Michaela Boyle described the attack as horrific.

McCrossan said the incident had sent "shock waves across the entirety of the wider Shrabane community" who were in "deep, deep shock".

Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

"I actually felt sick, that this could happen", he said.

The detective added: "The victim said she believed it was in relation to her homosexuality".

Anyone with information should contact police in Strabane on 101, quoting reference number 153 05/05/18 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11.