‘New lead’ following Crimewatch sex attack appeal

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Detectives are following up a significant new lead in an investigation into a serious sexual assault in a Mansfield park.

The day after a fresh appeal was run by BBC’s Crimewatch, Nottinghamshire Police is busy sifting through new information taken from members of the public who saw the reconstruction of the Racecourse Park assault and picked up the phone.

They are hoping one particular call from a possible witness on the night could prove key.

It’s been just over a year since a man brutally beat and sexually assaulted the woman as she walked her dog at just after 9pm on Saturday 28th September 2013.

Detective Chief Inspector Mel Bowden said: “It’s been a year since this happened but it’s obviously still in the mind of a lot of people out there.

“I’d like to thank those who have already called us with information and remind others that it isn’t too late to call in with what you know.

“If you know someone who wore or still wears shoes like the ones pictured, if you recognise the person pictured in this e-fit image, or if someone you know came home that night with blood and dirt on their clothes, dial 101.”

The offender was a white man who looked to be about 20. He was between 5ft 8ins and 6ft tall, slim and clean shaven. That night he was wearing light coloured trousers, a dark hooded top and those shoes with the striped elastic detail.

His victim is attempting to move on, but she cannot forget the events of that September evening. While her physical injuries have healed, she continues to mourn the loss of her life as she knew it.

Speaking exclusively to Chad last year, the woman 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.”

If you have any information, no matter how small or insignificant the detail might seem, call police on 101, or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

PICTURED: An e-fit of the offender.