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30 March 2011, 11:42 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Police in Southampton are re-visiting the scene of two assaults on women in the city which officers believe are linked.
Both attacks happened within three days of each other and the description of the attacker in both cases is very similar.
Officers will be both looking for any witnesses to the incident and offering advice and reassurance to people in the area during tonight’s anniversary visit.
It will be a week ago just after midnight tonight that the second attack happened.
An 18-year-old woman was walking home at around twenty minutes past mid-night on the morning of Wednesday, March 23, when she was pushed to the ground and a man attempted to sexually assault her. She had been walking from London Road towards the Jurys Inn roundabout when she became aware of a man who suddenly appeared alongside her.
As she walked along East Park Terrace he tried to engage her in conversation but she ignored him and continued walking. He then disappeared.
When the woman reached the park area opposite Solent University near to the coffee kiosk and tennis courts, the man reappeared, pushed her to the ground and attempted to sexually assault her.
After a struggle she managed to free herself and the man ran off.
The victim described her attacker as:
-Male aged 20 -30 years
-Approx 5ft 8ins tall
-He was of a 'tubby' build
-He had quite a lot of stubble and short dark hair, cut to the same length all around in no particular style
-He was wearing dark clothing
The other incident happened occurred in the subway in Brintons Road at around 4.20am on Sunday, March 20. The woman had earlier left the Edge nightclub to walk home when she was followed by a man who tried to engage her in conversation.
As they approached the subway, the man pushed the woman to the floor and sexually assaulted her. The woman managed to push him off and make good her escape. In both cases the attacker has a very similar description.
Both women have been left shaken by their ordeal.
Officers are repeating their advice to women to be more safety conscious and mindful of their surroundings when walking alone at night.
Detective Inspector Charlie Rimmer who is leading the investigation said:
“We remain focused on finding whoever is responsible for these attacks.
I would appeal to anyone with information, no matter how insignificant it might appear to be, to contact us. This information could be vital in identifying the offender. We hope tonight’s anniversary visit may help us find other people who witnessed the incidents or saw the man involved. Some people have already come forward and we are also pursuing a number of lines of enquiry and viewing CCTV.
“We will also be offering advice and reassurance during tonight’s visit and would like to repeat our advice to all women in the city not to walk home alone at night if it can be at all avoided. Wherever possible they should take a taxi or walk in well lit busy areas or with a group. We would also advise them be aware of their alcohol consumption, as drinking too much significantly increases their vulnerability.”
A dedicated team of detectives are investigating both incidents and police have increased the number of officers conducting high-visibility patrols in and around the city centre during the hours of darkness.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Bitterne CID on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity line anonymously on 0800 555 111.