Crimewatch appeal to snare park sex attacker

Police press call into the assault on Racecourse Park.
Police press call into the assault on Racecourse Park.

Police in Mansfield say that the only way they will now catch a vicious sex attacker is if a friend or relative hands them in.

Nottinghamshire Police officers last night (Thursday 16th October) appealed for information on the BBC1 show Crimewatch, following the violent attack in Racecourse Park in September 2013.

The victim had been walking her dog at around 9.10pm on Saturday 28th September when she was approached by the man, in what police described as a ‘chaotic attack’.

The woman, who has not been named by police, was repeatedly punched in the face by the male offender, who then sexually assaulted her in the recreation ground at the park, close to Epsom Street.

Police have also revealed a photo-fit of the attacker, as well as a pair of shoes similar to those worn by the offender in the night.

The show included an interview with the victim, a reconstruction of the attack and an appeal from Nottinghamshire Police DCI Melanie Bowden.

Speaking to Chad prior to the broadcast, she said: “It’s the level of violence that was used in this attack right from the start that has meant this case has never been far from our minds and we are just hoping that someone comes forward with information.

“The victim still carries an awful lot of scars - both physically and emotionally, and it’s changed her life fundamentally. It’s impacted on where she will go at night and when she will leave her house.

“Someone knows who did this because the offender would have had blood on him and he would have had dirt on him.

“Somebody will have come home with blood and dirt on them and possibly with injuries to their hand.

“We have now exhausted our enquiries but we are not giving up on this and we need the public to help us catch this person.”

Following the attack, officers revealed that the offender had been wearing a pair of light coloured, possibly grey, canvas shoes.

The shoes may have got blood on them from the attack, and could also have picked up mud and grass stains during the assault.

In an exclusive interview with Chad following the assault, the victim said: “There was nothing about him that made me feel suspicious, or like he was the sort of person I thought I should keep my distance from.

“He just came over to me and asked me for the time. He didn’t smell of alcohol or cigarettes and I thought he was just a young lad heading into town to meet his mates.

“Then he hit me, I don’t know how many times, but it was a lot and I was knocked to the floor. I was shouting to try and make someone hear and I managed to bite his hands or his fingers.

“But that’s when he put his hands around my neck and told me to shut up.

“I was shouting a lot and I just wanted him to get off and leave me alone. I kept thinking why isn’t there anyone around when you need them to be?

“He must have been covered in blood. From what he did to me, my blood would have been all over him, and there would have been bite marks on his hand or fingers. He hit me repeatedly so there would have been grazing to his knuckles as well.”

Anyone with information should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

PICTURED: Police appeal for information following the attack last year, an actress appearing in the Crimewatch reconstruction, an e-fit of the offender and shoes similar to those worn by the attacker.