The mother of a teenage girl who was attacked in the People’s Park on Saturday night said her daughter had been left “very shocked and very scared”.
The 14-year-old was set upon by four girls who punched and kicked her, causing bruising and cuts to her legs, arms, face and chest.
She was able to phone the police after the attack, and officers went to the park where they arrested two 15-year-old girls. Both were released on bail pending further enquiries.
The attackers are alleged to have been drinking.
The girl’s mother has appealed to a group of friends who were with her daughter to contact the police. She said, “Apparently, they are too scared to say anything in case the same thing happens to them.
“My daughter has been though an awful lot in her life and she doesn’t need this.
“She had told me she was going to the park. All the young people meet there. There is nowhere else for them to go on a Saturday night but I think there needs to be.”
The attack took place around 8.30pm when the teenager was warned by the culprits that they were going to “give her a doing”. Her mother said, “She started to walk out and one of the girls grabbed her from behind. Then the three others attacked her as well.”
Afterwards, the schoolgirl phoned the police straight away before calling her mother. “I was in my sister’s house at the time and my two sisters ran up to get her. When she got back to the house, she was shaking and very upset,” said her mother.
“I wanted to bring her to casualty but she said all she wanted was a hug from her mum and a cup of tea. I did bring her to the doctor’s the next day. I know it could have been worse, if knives were used, but it’s a very scary thing to happen.”
She added, “She’s not a perfect teenager - what teenager is - but when I give her a time to be home by, she’s home and she always lets me know where she is.
“Parks everywhere are meeting places for young people but it would be good if there was somewhere safe they could go on a Saturday night.”
Sinn Fein councillor Paul Duffy said the attack was “apparently the result of drunkenness” and called on parents to be aware of where their children are. He also called for an end to the culture of drinking in the park and suggested that a programme be developed “for ending this scourge”.
Councillor Gemma McKenna, who chairs the Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), said young people should be aware that a criminal conviction could affect their employment and travel opportunities.
Anyone with information should phone police on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.