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DNA test links second sex attack

PUBLISHED: 19:30 26 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

DNA analysis has revealed the same man is responsible for two sex attacks in Colchester and Chelmsford.

Essex Police said they hoped the breakthrough would lead to the arrest of the man who violently assaulted two women.

DNA analysis has revealed the same man is responsible for two sex attacks in Colchester and Chelmsford.

Essex Police said they hoped the breakthrough would lead to the arrest of the man who violently assaulted two women.

They have issued a computer generated image of the person they want to interview.

Det Supt Gareth Wilson said: "DNA analysis has confirmed the same man carried out both these horrible assaults and I am appealing to the public to help me apprehend him."

He added he also could not rule out the same man being responsible for a third sexual assault which happened just 400 yards from the attack in Colchester, although they have no DNA evidence at present to link it.

In Chelmsford, where the first attack happened, a 30-year-old woman was assaulted as she walked home from the gym along the footpath linking Waterhouse Lane and Seymour Street, on Sunday September 29, 2002, at 5.30pm.

Less than three weeks later in Lexden, Colchester, a 19-year-old woman was subjected to an attempted rape at knifepoint, just after midnight on Thursday, October 10, 2002 on a footpath known as Bluebottle Grove.

Mr Wilson said: "I am asking the public to think hard about this and come forward with a name. Someone must be able to identify the link between this person and the location of the two offences.

"Does his description, and his presence in Chelmsford at 5.30pm on September 29, and in Colchester in the early hours of October 10, ring a bell with anyone? Is he a man who lives or socialises in Colchester and perhaps works in Chelmsford on a Sunday? Was there anything unusual about his behaviour on these two dates?"

He added: "If the person named is innocent, a simple DNA test will clear him."

The third attack, which could be linked, happened in the same network of footpaths as Bluebottle Grove on a footpath off Park Road, Lexden.

A 17-year-old girl escaped a knifeman by feigning an asthma attack.

This assault occurred at 10.40am on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - exactly two months after the second attack.

In the Colchester attacks, the attacker approached both women in the same manner, by asking the victims for a light and proceeded to hold them at knifepoint.

The description given of the attacker is a white male, 20-30 years old, and at least 5ft10ins tall.

Anyone who believes they may know the identity of the wanted man is asked to contact the police investigation team at Colchester on 01206 762122.


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