Northern Ireland

Woman pushing pram kicked in face in south Belfast robbery

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Media captionThe woman was walking along Roden Street when the incident happened

A woman pushing her child in a pram has been kicked in the face during a robbery in south Belfast.

The woman was walking along Roden Street at about 15:00 GMT on Tuesday when she was approached from behind by two men.

They pulled her to the ground and kicked her in the face, then ran off with her bag.

The woman was taken to hospital for treatment to her injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening.

The child was not hurt. The woman's purse was found a short time later in an alleyway off Roden Street.

'Help me'

A woman who lives near the scene of the attack told Radio Ulster's Nolan show she was at the back of her house with her dog when she "heard a girl's voice calling for help".

"I just heard, help me please, help me," she said.

The woman said she then spotted the victim from an upstairs bedroom and shouted encouragement to her.

"I ran around to her and her child. She was hurt and she was crying. She was in a terrible state but there was nobody about," she said.

"She was worried about her other children being picked up from school. She was really, really upset."

The woman said she telephoned the school attended by the victim's children and contacted the police.

She said she herself was now afraid to venture into the street.

'In pain'

"Imagine, in broad daylight, a woman and a child was attacked," she said.

Belfast councillor Bob Stoker said he had been told by the victim's husband that his wife was still in pain and was due to return to hospital.

He described the actions of the attackers as "despicable."

Mr Stoker said the attack was an uncommon occurrence in the area.

"But doesn't lessen the effect this particular woman, and it also puts fear into other people who are living there, that something like this could happen," he said.

"Unfortunately, all the young people in this area are going to be tarred with the one brush now.

"What we have to do is ensure that these two culprits are caught and severely punished.

"It has to be punishment for a crime like this and not just a few hours community service."

Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them.

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