Did You See Sexual Assault in Stevenage?

24 June 2010, 12:55 | Updated: 24 June 2010, 12:58

THREE months on from an incident in Stevenage where a woman was raped a reconstruction is being released to encourage new witnesses to come forward.

The incident occurred on the morning of Wednesday, March 24, when the victim, who is a nurse and aged in her early 30s, was walking to work. She was walking along the path which runs along Chequers Bridge Road towards Fairview Road at approximately 6.30am.
It is believed a man approached her from behind and raped her, before running from the scene. It is thought he may have been disturbed by a passer by or a car starting.
The woman ran out of Watson Road, along Fairview Road towards the Leisure Park and came to a stop in an underpass where she called for help. It is believed a number of people, possibly commuters walking towards the train station, passed the victim whilst she was sat in distress in the underpass.
Officers have only a brief description of the offender, however they have established that he was wearing distinctive leather ‘driving style’ gloves. He was also said to have smelt of tobacco and may have been running, as he was out of breath. Actors have been used in the reconstruction and the man playing the offender may not bear a resemblance to him.
DC Kelly Adams from the specialist Sexual Offences Investigation Team is just one of the officers working on the case. She said:

“This woman was subjected to unimaginably frightening assault. The rape has deeply affected her and specially trained officers are giving her support through this extremely traumatic time.
“It is extremely uncommon for an incident of this nature to occur in the county, let alone Stevenage. We are determined to find out who this man was, which is why we have created a reconstruction of the sequence of events that morning.  
“In relation to the morning itself, it was a fine and dry day and it was light because it was just before the clocks went forward. Did you see a man following our victim, or running to or from the scene? Did you see a woman in distress running from Watson Road, or see her sat in the underpass? It may be that you didn’t realise she needed help, but recall seeing her there.”
A witness reported seeing a man acting suspiciously in the two days prior to the incident, at the same time in the morning. He has not been seen there since. The man is described as a black man with light coloured skin, aged between 18 and 30, with a slim build. He was said to be clean shaven and wearing a light blue long sleeved sweat shirt with dark cotton bottoms. He had running trainers which were said to be dirty.
DC Adams added: “We are very keen to speak to this man or find out more information about his identity. Did you see a man matching his description on the day of the offence or in the days prior? If you are this man I would urge you to make contact so we can eliminate you from our enquiries.
“You may think your information is small but it could prove vital to this investigation. Please call the investigating team via the non emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”