Dirty hoodie could be key to catching attempted rapist in Benhall
A DIRTY hoodie could be the key to tracing a man who attempted to rape a woman in Cheltenham last Monday.
On the one week anniversary of the attack close to Robert Burns Avenue in Benhall, detectives are re-appealing to anyone who may have seen the offender, who was wearing a blue hoodie that was dirty around the waist at the time.
The attacker struck at around 6.40pm, hitting the victim before being disturbed by a member of the public and running away into the park.
He is described as white, around 5ft 10ins tall, wearing a dark balaclava, "slightly baggy" mid-denim jeans and a blue hooded top with two side pockets and a zip all the way down the middle. The hooded top is believed to have been dirty, possibly muddy, in the lower half.
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This evening a team of local officers will again be in Benhall asking local residents if they were in the area last week and saw anything that could help the investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Stenner said: "Who do you know or perhaps work with who wears a blue hoodie and was in the Benhall area last Monday afternoon?
"Did you see anyone in dirty clothes or do you know someone who returned home keen to wash their clothes?
"If you know anyone who was behaving out of the ordinary last Monday or you were in the area last Monday night yourself and haven't spoken to us please call.
"I know there is a danger that because an arrest has been made people think they don't need to report something. That couldn't be further from the truth – we need people to call us with anything they think is relevant because this is a live, ongoing inquiry. If you're not sure your information could help then please let us decide.
"The investigation is widescale with teams of officers continuing to make house to house calls and capturing CCTV from many locations.
"You can help us a lot by coming forward if you have information or any private CCTV from the vicinity that covers last Monday afternoon or evening.
"In the meantime, our community officers will continue to make reassurance visits in the area and our advice, as ever, is to be aware of your personal safety and call us if you have any concerns."
Anyone with information that could help police should call 101, quoting incident 393 of February 18.
Alternatively information can also be given anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org. In some cases Crimestoppers offer rewards of up to £1000 where information leads to a conviction.
A 42-year-old man from Cheltenham arrested on suspicion of attempted rape in connection with the incident has been bailed to attend Cheltenham police station on March 11, pending further inquiries.