Woman attacked and raped in Halstead field

This is the third person to be charged in relation to a modern slavery investigation. Picture: SARAH

This is the third person to be charged in relation to a modern slavery investigation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Police are appealing for information after a woman in her 20s was raped in Halstead on Tuesday afternoon.

The victim was walking across a field off Windmill Road at 2pm on Tuesday, April 10 when she grew suspicious of a man behind her.

The attacker then grabbed and, after a struggle, raped her, in what police have described as a “horrifying and frightening” ordeal.

She reported the offence to a third party before Essex Police were called at 10.05pm yesterday, Wednesday April 11.

Officers are now conducting a forensic investigation at the scene, gathering witness statements and sourcing CCTV footage.

Police have added that they would encourage anyone with information about the incident, or who might recognise the suspect, to come forward.

The suspect has been described as a white man in his mid-20s, around 6ft tall and of a skinny build. He was reported to be wearing a black hoody with the hood up, and black tracksuit bottoms.

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The victim is currently being cared for by specially trained officers.

Senior Investigating Officer Det Insp Stuart Truss, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The woman has been subjected to a horrific and frightening ordeal and we are doing everything we can to find the person responsible.

“We are currently making extensive enquiries in the area into this serious offence, including visiting homes in the vicinity, taking witness statements and establishing CCTV opportunities.

“I understand that the local community will be concerned and when more information comes to light, we will update you. At this stage the incident is being treated as an isolated investigation.

“We urge anyone with information to contact the Serious Crime Directorate on 101 quoting incident 1179 of 11/04. We would also like to hear from anyone who may have been driving in the area with dashcam or CCTV footage between 1pm and 3pm.

“Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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