Heaton Park rape investigation continues

21 Mar 2016 15:42 PM

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It is now one month since a woman was raped in a Newcastle park.

On Sunday, February 21, a 22 year old woman was walking alone in Heaton Park when she was raped by an unknown man. An investigation was launched and extensive enquiries have been carried out to identify and locate the offender - however the identity of the man is still unknown and police are asking for the public's help.

The incident happened between 10.50pm and 11.10pm on the path next to Sambuca restaurant and opposite the bowling green.

The suspect is described as white, around 6ft tall and stocky build. He was wearing dark jeans, a dark hooded top and had short blonde hair.

He is described by the victim as having discoloured, possibly even black coloured, wonky teeth. It is thought he fled the scene in the direction of the Blue Bell pub after the incident happened.

Since the attack officers from Northumbria Police's Protecting Vulnerable People (PVP) department have been supporting and working with the victim to try and establish more information that could help identify the attacker.

Officers from Central Area Command have been carrying out further enquiries in the Heaton Park area including comprehensive searches of the immediate scene of the offence and the park itself.

They have been checking CCTV cameras from across the area and have viewed several hundreds of hours of footage.

Extensive house to house enquiries have been made and residents who live near to the park have been spoken to see if they hold any information that can help with the investigation.

Teams of detectives have been gathering intelligence, looking at historic offences, monitoring social media and working closely with partners to try and establish who was in the park that evening and what they were doing there.

Detective Inspector Don Gibson from PVP said: "It's been exactly a month since the rape took place and a lot of work and enquiries have gone into trying to identify the man responsible for this awful offence.

"We have been, and continue to, support and work with the victim and her family and it's so important for them, for us, and for the local community that we find who did this as soon as possible.

"With the help of the victim we were able to issue a description of the attacker fairly quickly after the offence took place, however one further piece of information that may help us with the inquiry is that the man is believed to have been wearing brown leather gloves when he carried out the attack.

"She described them as having raised stitching that ran down from the knuckles onto the back of the hand, perhaps like a decorative pattern of some kind. If anyone thinks they know this type of glove or has any information about them then please get in touch with us.

"Anyone who recognises the man from the description, or who was the area of the park that night and might have seen anything or anyone suspicious, then please tell us and we will investigate. No matter how small or insignificant you think it might be, come forward and share it with us. Ring us on 101 or come through Crimestoppers, anonymously if its easier, on 0800 555 111."

Neighbourhood Inspector for the area Neil Brotherton said: "This is a very concerning incident and since it was reported to us we have stepped up patrols in the area and done everything we can to reassure local people that the park and the wider area is safe.

"We have, thankfully, had no similar incidents in the area but it's important that we find the man responsible for the incident as soon as possible and get him arrested. Local officers will continue to give the area of Heaton Park extra attention and if you have any concerns or want to pass any information on face to face to an officer then please speak to them in confidence."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1129 21/02/16.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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