New leads in hunt for sex attacker

POLICE investigating a series of linked sex attacks in Essex have been flooded with calls following a full reconstruction on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

POLICE investigating a series of linked sex attacks in Essex have been flooded with calls following a full reconstruction on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

Essex Police are following up about 70 calls made as a result of the programme and are investigating 18 possible new names which may be linked to the man they believe committed three sexual assaults in Colchester and Chelmsford late last year.

On Wednesday night's programme, Detective Superintendent Gareth Wilson said he was pleased with the public's response which had, up until then, been disappointing.

He told Crimewatch viewers: “Most of the new names given to us by the public are known to us and we will be checking them against our database.”


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Speaking yesterday , he added: “I would like people to look closely at the e-fit and description of the man. We are hoping somebody will be able to put a name to this individual and help us catch him.”

In a breakthrough earlier this year, DNA analysis revealed the same man was responsible for two sexual assaults on women in Colchester and Chelmsford and they have linked him to a third by other means.

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In the first assault, in Chelmsford, a 30-year-old woman was attacked as she walked home from the gym along the footpath linking Waterhouse Lane and Seymour Street at 5.30pm on September 29 last year.

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

On December 10 last year, at 10.40am, a 17-year-old girl was also assaulted at knifepoint by a man who first asked for a light on a footpath off Park Road, again in the Lexden district of Colchester.

Police have described the attacker as 6ft tall, slim, with cropped brown hair, which was greying. He wore a blue hip-length raincoat, a grey fleece jacket, light blue jeans and light brown lace up boots, which were scuffed and spattered with white paint. He had a smoker's voice and a small scar under his right eye.

Anyone with information should call Colchester Police on 01206 762122, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

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