CCTV released of possible witness to sex attacks
Police today released a CCTV image of a potential witness to sex assaults in Gloucestershire.
The man was filmed on CCTV going into the Tesco Express, in Abbeymead, Gloucester on the evening of the third attack, which took place near Abbeymead on May 2.
Officers would like to speak to the man in order to determine if he saw anything that could help the investigation, and they stress he is being treated as a witness.
Anyone who knows the man, or the man himself, is urged to ring police on 101 and ask to speak to the Operation Abbeymead team.
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A team of detectives has been assembled to investigate the three sexual offences which have taken place in the past six months.
The officers working on Operation Abbeymead are based in an incident room in Police Headquarters. However, the crimes they are investigating took place in Cheltenham, Innsworth and Gloucester.
While they are not being formally linked, all three cases are being examined together due to the similarities between the crimes.
The three crimes being investigated under Operation Abbeymead are:
• On Wednesday November 30 2011 at around 8.25pm an 18-year-old local woman was grabbed by a man as she walked through Welch Road playing fields, in the Hester’s Way area of Cheltenham. He dragged her to an area of the park and then sexually assaulted her. It is believed that a balaclava was worn by the offender.
• At around 6.45pm on Thursday January 19 2012 a 16-year-old Gloucester girl was walking across the footbridge from Penrose Road to Evergreen Walk, which crosses the A40, at Innsworth when she was approached by a man. The man threatened, assaulted and indecently assaulted the girl, and stole her mobile phone. It is believed that a balaclava was worn by the offender.
• On Wednesday May 2, at around 10.30pm, a 20-year-old woman was attacked as she walked along a grassed area behind The Clock Tower, near West Lodge Drive, in the Coney Hill area of Gloucester. The offender tried to grab the woman’s handbag before pushing her to the ground and carrying out the serious sexual assault. He ran off in the direction of The Clock Tower.
Anyone with information that could help the investigation should ring 101 and ask to be connected to the Incident Room.
Information can also be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. A reward of up to £1,000 may be given for information leading to an arrest and charge.
Two men from the Gloucester area have been arrested during the course of the investigation and are on police bail. Enquiries are continuing and information from the public remains important to the enquiry.
If you have been the victim of a sexual offence please ring police on 101, or 999 in an emergency. Support is also available through Hope House, the county’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre. The centre is contactable on 01452 754390.