Attacks on women could be linked

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 05:00 03/07/2014

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Police are gathering information about a second incident possibly related to a serious assault on three young women in Dunedin on Saturday night.

Annalise Cooper, 19, Tae Flavell, 19, and Makayla Spiers, 18, were the victims of an alleged 10-minute assault by a group of six or seven assailants, all believed to be aged 15 and 16 years.

Senior Sergeant Mark Crawford said details of the assault were being pieced together.

He did not know if investigators had interviewed the alleged offenders, but envisaged witnesses and other lines of inquiry would be pursued first.

That included information the assailants may have been involved in another incident earlier the same night.

"We're looking at the possibility the group [of assailants] was connected to a previous incident," Crawford said. "They may or may not be related to an incident at a party earlier in the night."

Police received calls from one of the victims and members of the public between 10.20pm and 10.40pm on Saturday.

Two of the women required medical treatment. One suffered a broken ankle in the attack and extensive bruising, as well as being punched in the face. The other suffered minor injuries.

Dunedin police were also aware of a video of the attack being posted on YouTube and were investigating.

The 14-second clip, now removed "as a violation of YouTube's policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten", had surfaced on Facebook.

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- The Southland Times

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