Rape probe detectives say Southsea Common sex attacker 'wore blue surgical mask'

Detectives investigating an alleged rape have said a woman was assaulted by a man wearing a blue surgical mask.

By Richard Lemmer
Thursday, 6th August 2020, 3:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th August 2020, 4:08 pm
Police presence at Clarence Parade, Southsea on August 4, 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Police presence at Clarence Parade, Southsea on August 4, 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The 40-year-old victim was walking near Clarence Esplanade towards the Pyramid Centre between 9.40pm and 11.30pm on Monday when a man grabbed her from behind.

She was then seriously assaulted and suffered a suspected fractured cheekbone, as well as bruising to her face, arms, legs, and back.

Police cordoned off an area of Southsea Common off Clarence Parade after the attack.

Yesterday police said a 19-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of rape, and he remains under investigation.

Today a spokesman said: ‘Officers investigating the attack believe it to be sexually motivated.'

The man has been described as white, with a heavy build and facial hair. He was wearing a dark baseball cap, a dark top with a zip, and a blue surgical face mask.

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Acting detective inspector Wayne Jackson, said: ‘We know this area of the park is used widely by residents and it’s a popular walk-through and we would like to appeal to those who were in the vicinity Monday night to get in contact with us.

‘Were you in this area on Monday, August 3 between 9pm and 11.30pm, and did you see anyone or anything suspicious?

‘It’s important you get in contact with us and tell us what you know.

‘Officers from the Portsmouth South Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be patrolling the area throughout the coming days and weeks.

‘Please do approach them if you have any information that could assist or if you have any concerns.’

Detectives are investigating to see if the case is linked to an assault on a woman in Eastleigh in the early hours of Tuesday.

Anyone who believes they may have seen something suspicious - or know any information that could be useful in the case - is asked to speak to an officer patrolling or call 101 quoting reference number 44200292589.

Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For support, call Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service’s women’s helpline on (023) 9266 9511 or its men’s helpline on (023) 9266 9516.

The lines are open Monday 1pm-3pm, and Wednesday and Friday 7pm-10pm.

Call Aurora New Dawn’s helpline (023) 9247 9254.

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