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Detectives working as part of the Operation Galaxy team are appealing for the public’s help in identifying a serial rapist who has been linked to three offences committed in the early 1980s.
Between 1982 and 1984, three women were attacked whilst walking home in Whitchurch, Dummer and Winchester.
Operation Galaxy is a team who are dedicated to working on historic stranger rape cases dating back to 1980. These cases have been re-opened and investigated by the team, using the improved DNA matching techniques to re-examine forensic evidence taken at the time of the offence.
The details of the offences are as follows:
On Wednesday, October 27, 1982, an 18-year-old woman had been out with a friend in the White Hart pub in Whitchurch. The pair left at 9.45pm and walked to the bus stop outside International Stores, where the bus arrived five minutes later. Whilst at the bus stop the women saw a white Ford Capri car with a black roof drive around the area. The driver was a man with dark hair.
After her friend had left on the bus, the woman walked along Winchester Street. As she passed the junction with Test Road she looked to see if there were any cars coming and she saw a man. She carried on walking down Winchester Street, before turning into an alleyway. On hearing footsteps behind her she turned around and saw the same man she had seen earlier in Test Road. She turned to carry on walking and the man put his hand over her mouth, pushed her over a low wall into a garden and subjected her to a serious sexual assault, before running away.
The woman described the offender as a white man, around 5ft 7ins tall, medium blond hair that was swept back, with a moustache and beard. She provided an e-fit image of the offender at the time.
On Thursday, December 23, 1982, an 18-year-old woman got off the bus in Dummer at around 6.30pm. She saw a large blue estate car, which may have been a Peugeot parked near the church as she walked past, with the engine running and the interior light on.
As she passed the car the engine stopped, and she turned to see a man running towards her. He put his hand up and covered her eyes, before walking her back to the car, putting her inside and pulling her coat over her head so she could not see.
After a short drive she was taken out of the car and climbed over a small gate, but on hearing a noise the man turned and they returned to the car and drove again, before the man stopped and took her out. He laid her down on the ground and seriously sexually assaulted her, before they then got back into the car, he took her out and walked up a track a short way before leaving her there and driving away.
The woman did not see the man because he kept her head covered, but she stated he had rough hands, and smelt strongly of farm animals, and that his car had a dark PVC interior.
At 11.30pm on June 15, 1984, an 18-year-old woman had been out with a friend in Winchester. They were walking home and parted company near to Sleepers Hill around half a mile from the woman’s house. As she walked down Dawn Gardens towards a footpath she became of someone behind her, before a man put his hand over her mouth and pulled her onto the driveway of a large house. She was seriously sexually assaulted, and the man ran off. He man had come from a brown Ford Cortina.
She provided an e-fit of the offender at the time.
Detective Inspector Julian Venner said,
“Using advances in DNA technology we are now able to forensically link all three attacks to the same suspect. Unfortunately this suspect is not currently on the national DNA database. We are therefore appealing to the public to examine all three cases and if you think you know who this individual is or can provide any additional information please contact us so that we can identify the man responsible for these horrific crimes.
“These women were all brutally attacked, and we are absolutely determined to bring this man to justice and seek some closure for these three victims.”
Anyone who recognises the two images or description, or has any information that may be of assistance should contact the Operation Galaxy team on 101, or 0845 045 45 45 if calling from outside of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.