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Detectives issue warning after woman raped in park in Southampton
DETECTIVES hunting a rapist who attacked a woman in a Southampton park have urged the public to remain vigilant.
Officers are appealing for help in finding the attacker who raped the 32-year-old victim while she was making her way home from celebrating the New Year.
She has told officers how she was walking home past the park just off Union Road and Northam Road when she was grabbed and pulled into the park where she was then raped.
After her ordeal she managed to stop some passers-by who then raised the alarm around 3am on Wednesday.
The woman, who was left with injuries to her body and face, was treated by paramedics who then took her to Southampton General Hospital for further treatment before being discharged later that day.
The victim has now been able to give a description to police of the man who attacked her.
He was white in his 20s between 5ft 6ins to 5ft 8ins tall of medium build with long mousy brown hair and spoke in a foreign language.
Detective Inspector Jim Park said that the attack would give women cause for concern and urged the public to remain vigilant but not scared.
He said: “Assaults like this are relatively rare in Southampton and we are treating it as an isolated incident; however we know it will cause women to be concerned for their safety.
“We would reiterate the advice we always give to women about their personal safety; plan your journey home in advance, try not to walk alone at night, and keep to busy, well lit areas.
“Clearly this assault has left the victim traumatised and we have specialist officers supporting her throughout the investigation.
“She had been celebrating New Year with friends in the St Mary's area and was walking home. We believe she walked down Northumberland Road and Mount Pleasant Road prior to reaching the park at around 3am.
“The victim is white with brown hair and would have been either pushing or riding a pink bicycle on her journey. We would like to hear from anyone who saw her in the early hours of New Year's Day.
“We also want to hear from anyone who recognises the description of the attacker and from anyone who was in the vicinity of the park near the time of the offence and thinks they may have seen something suspicious.
“Any piece of information, no matter how small it may seem, could be critical to our investigation.”
Anyone with any information should contact CID at Southampton Central police station by calling 101. Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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