Woman raped in car in Lowestoft after accepting lift from man

Police are searching. Picture: ARCHANT

Police are searching. Picture: ARCHANT

A woman was raped in a car in Lowestoft yesterday in what police have described as a “despicable attack”.

The incident took place in the early hours of yesterday morning in Kimberley Road.

The victim – aged in her 30s – was walking along Oulton Road at around 4am when a man driving what she describes as a small light or silver coloured car, stopped and offered her a lift, which she accepted as he appeared to be genuine.

At some time between 4.15am and 4.55am, the suspect stopped the car in Kimberley Road, where he raped the victim in the vehicle.

She then managed to get out of the car and ran away to get help, following which the police were called.

The victim is being supported by specialist trained officers as detectives have been undertaking initial enquiries into the incident.

The suspect is described as being Asian, aged between 30 and 40, short and of slight build.

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During the car journey he stated to the suspect that he often offered people lifts to ‘make friends’.

Detective superintendent Marina Ericson, of the major investigation team, said: “This was a despicable attack and the victim has shown great courage by working with our detectives and helping them piece together the sequence of events.

“I am appealing to anyone who was in Kimberley Road, or any of the roads along the route described below, between 4am and 4.55am on Saturday morning and who saw a car matching the description as provided to come forward.

“We would like to hear from anyone else who may have been offered a lift in similar circumstances recently by a man matching this description, as he indicated to the victim that it was something he has done before.

“The suspect presented himself as genuine and the victim accepted a lift in good faith.

“However, I would warn anyone against getting into a vehicle with a stranger, or from walking alone at night. Always plan your journey home by walking in groups, making arrangements to get a lift with a friend, or using a taxi.”

Detectives are specifically appealing to the driver of a blue or green coloured Ford Fiesta which had broken down in Kimberley Road at around 5.30am to come forward.

He was given assistance by a local resident to get the car started and may have vital information to assist the investigation.

The route the suspect’s car travelled along is believed to have included the following roads: Oulton Road, Church Road, Boston Road, St Peters Street (A1144), Bascule Bridge, Belvedere Road, Horn Hill, Waveney Drive, Durban Road, and Kimberley Road.

Officers are also appealing for anyone who may have been in the vicinity of Kimberley Road, or any of the other roads along the route taken by the suspect’s vehicle, between 4am and 4.55am to make contact.

This includes anyone who witnessed anything suspicious and anyone who may have dashcam, headcam or CCTV footage.

Anyone with information about this attack, or who was in any of the roads stated during the relevant times and witnessed anything suspicious, is asked to contact Suffolk police on 101 quoting reference 78398/17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.