WATCH: Portsmouth hammer attack suspect reconstruction
POLICE have run a reconstruction retracing the hammer attack suspect's footsteps in the days leading up to the assault on a 17-year-old girl.
Nearly two weeks after the attempted murder in Shearer Road, Fratton, a police officer, chosen as he looks similar to the suspect spotted on CCTV, has walked along Queen Street in Portsea, Edinburgh Road and Commercial Road.
Around 30 police and PCSOs have been stopping members of the public to hand out leaflets with the CCTV image.
Detectives hope this will jog people’s memories and lead to information to identify the suspect.
Dressed in a charcoal grey hooded top, cap and sunglasses, with a ginger beard, the officer retraced the suspect’s steps from April 9, two days before the attack on April 11. Police believe the suspect had a ginger or brown beard.
The suspect is believed to have walked along Queen Street as well as Edinburgh Road and Commercial Road between 10am and 11.30am on April 9.
Today the reconstruction started at 10am and at around 11am saw the officer going into Carphone Warehouse and the O2 shop in Commercial Road.
There is currently a £5,000 reward for information leading to the successful identification and prosecution of the man.
Detective Sergeant Lisa Cronin said: ‘It’s very important we find this person.
‘A 17-year-old girl has been seriously attacked and while we believe it to be an isolated incident, we don’t want any dangerous offenders to be in the public domain.
‘There’s nothing to suggest he’s going to attack anyone else but at the same time it’s important for us to arrest him.’
The girl has been left with a ‘life-changing’ serious head injury after being attacked with a hammer on April 11 just before 7pm in Shearer Road.
DS Cronin added: ‘The man we’re looking for is described as distinctive looking and on the leaflet it’s good quality CCTV image of him. We’re sure someone will recognise him.
‘The reconstruction is designed to jog the memory of people who may have been in the area on April 9, when we believe the suspect was.’
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting Operation Gather, alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.