28/04/2006

Fresh appeal launched to find Derry rapist

Police in Londonderry have launched a fresh appeal to find the person responsible for a serious sexual assault on a woman last week.

Detectives have revisited the scene of the attack, which happened in the early hours of the morning of April 21, exactly one week ago.

The attack happened close to a licensed premises at Rock Terrace in the Strand Road area of the city between 3am and 3.30am this morning.

The attacker forced the victim along Baronet Street to a pathway beside the the River Foyle where he carried out the rape.

The woman managed to escape from the assailant and ran to a nearby taxi office where she was able to raise the alarm.

The attacker is described as being in his mid-twenties and was wearing a white baseball cap bearing a logo.

Police have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward and are especially keen to speak to a man who was walking along the riverbank and passed the pair when the attack was taking place. Detectives believe that the man did not intervene as he may have thought that the couple were having a row.

A PSNI spokesman said that this person could possess vital information for their inquiry.

He added: "We have had a good response to our appeals so far and particularly from taxi drivers in the city, however we still need some more information.

"While we spoke to as many people as possible last night, it is equally important that anyone that we didn't have an opportunity to talk to, and who noticed this man in the vicinity of Rock Terrace or McFarland Quay or indeed noticed him in the city centre earlier that night, comes forward to assist us.”

Anyone with any information in relation to the assault, should contact detectives at Strand Road on 0845 600 8000, or anonymously on the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.

(EF)

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