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8 January 2014, 12:58
Detectives have charged a man, arrested after a woman was raped in a park in Southampton on New Year’s Day.
The 32-year-old was attacked in a play park surrounded by Northam Road Union Road, Leyton Road and Summers Street.
She was found in a distressed state in the park by passers by at around 3am. They called the emergency services and the woman was taken by ambulance to Southampton General Hospital where she was treated for injuries to her face and body.
She was discharged later that day.
Detectives arrested a man on Monday (6 January) and on Tuesday were given extra time to question him.
Stuart Ashley Burton, 22, of no fixed address in Southampton, was charged with rape on Tuesday (7 January) and will appear before magistrates in Southampton on Wednesday (8 January).
Detective Inspector Jim Park 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."