Women’s safety fears after second brutal sex attack

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Police are hunting for a man who subjected a teenage woman to a serious sexual assault in Mansfield’s Racecourse Park on Friday evening.

The sickening attack comes just months after a similar incident in which a woman was badly beaten before being sexually assaulted in the very same park.

But, despite both incidents occurring at around 8.30pm on a weekend in the same area, detectives say they are not linking the two attacks.

Although police have launched manhunts for the attackers, no-one has yet been arrested in connection with either of the crimes.

Now women in the town say they no longer feel safe using the park.

Chloe Johnson (18), who lives on nearby Redcar Close, said: “This is scary because I live about two seconds away from where this happened and we come here to walk the dog quite often.

“My mum was saying she does not feel safe coming down here anymore. It was quite early when it happened so we are going to try and come earlier - about 5-6pm.”

Alison Argent said on Facebook: “There is no way I would go there alone. I used to walk my dog there when I lived in the area, wouldn’t now.”

While Anita Mason, also on facebook, said: “It is disgusting now. Time something was done. I personally use that park to walk my dog and so do many others and children cut through to school.

“This guy needs catching before someone is killed.”

Following the attack last September, Steve Garner, ward councillor for the Racecourse, blamed faulty street lighting in the area near where it happened on refusal by Nottinghamshire County and Mansfield District Council to accept responsibility for their repair.

Now, after the latest assault, residents are calling for CCTV cameras to be installed at the park.

Anthony Allsop said on Facebook: “Maybe it is time that more use was put to modern technology. Wider use of CCTV is obviously one of the answers.”

While Simon Phillips said: “I agree that CCTV should be up there although I feel this just moves the problem on to somewhere different. He needs catching, and quick.”

Last year’s victim, who remained anonymous, described her terrible ordeal in an inteview with Chad at the time in an attempt to bring her attacker to justice.

She told how a young man approached her and asked if she had the time before hitting her so many times she lost count.

He then dragged her off into a grassed area where she was seriously assaulted.

Nottinghamshire Police have described Friday evening’s attacker as white, in his early 20s and clean shaven, with light, short hair.

He was wearing a hooded top and tracksuit bottoms.

Inspector Neil Williams said: “This investigation is ongoing and at this stage we are not linking it to any other incident.

“We need to speak with anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area as any information could be vital.

“This is a well-used area and if you see anyone acting suspiciously or anything you are worried about contact police so that we can attend in the proper capacity.

“In the meantime, we are increasing patrols in this area, specifically at the park.”

The young woman who was attacked on Friday evening is currently being supported by police officers.

If you can help, phone police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.