Community in shock after woman raped in Wallsend while walking home

Posted on March 16, 2013

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  • By Sophie Doughty

A woman was dragged into bushes and raped in Wallsend while walking home from a night out

Police tape surrounds an area on Archer Street, Wallsend
Police tape surrounds an area on Archer Street, Wallsend

A community is today in fear after a woman was dragged into bushes and raped.

The grassy bank that surrounds a Wallsend war memorial became the scene of a horror attack, early yesterday morning.

The 27-year-old victim was walking home from a night out with friends when the rapist, who remains at large, grabbed her and dragged her into the bushes, where he carried out his vile attack.

Police cordoned off a huge section of the parkland after the attack was reported, at around 6am.

And as officers worked to establish exactly where the rape happened, shocked residents watched on.

Today, as police continued to hunt the monster, who struck sometime between 2.30am and 3am, worried families have told the Chronicle of their fears.

A taxi driver who lives opposite the rape scene, but did not want to be named, said: “It’s absolutely shocking and very scary when it’s that close to home.

“I have a girlfriend and a 15-year-old daughter, I don’t want them to go out until he is caught, it worries me even more that he is still out there.

“I saw the police cordon the area off at around 8am, but I didn’t realise there had been a rape.

“I have lived around here all my life, but it’s not a very nice neighbourhood anymore. This used to be one of the most beautiful areas, with the view we have it should be one of the best places in the world to live – but not now.”

The victim had been out in Newcastle before she was attacked. She and her friends then returned to Wallsend and had some drinks on the High Street before she made her way home.

Detectives say they do not believe a weapon was used in the attack.

Local resident Richard Walker told the Chronicle: “It’s just  so shocking. This is not a good area for women to walk alone in, but women should be allowed to do what they want without worrying. I won’t be letting my daughter walk around here by herself any more.”

Police patrols have been stepped up in the area.

And officers are now appealing to the public to help snare the rapist.

Chief Insp Mandy Shea, of Northumbria Police said: “We need to speak to anyone who was in the area around the time the offence happened and who may have seen or heard anything.

“We have extra officers in the area today and they are speaking to local residents to see if anyone saw or heard anything.

“There will be more patrols in the area and a visible policing presence to reassure the community. We recognise this incident will cause concerns for the community and the public can be assured we are doing everything possible to establish what has happened and find the man responsible.”

Witnesses should call Northumbria Police on 101.

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