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Police release CCTV of suspected Westcliff rapist
12:06pm Saturday 14th July 2012 in Echo News
Police have released CCTV images to try and trace a suspected rapist.
Officers were contacted on Friday, June 1 by a 30-year-old woman who was reporting that she had been raped in Westcliff on Saturday, May 26.
Police say the information has only just been released to the media due to the need to obtain a detailed statement from the victim and the nature of the offence.
The woman had been enjoying a day out in the sunshine and on the beach with her four children on the first day of the Southend Airshow.
She then took her children to the Sutton Arms pub in Essex Street at 4pm and then a few hours later to The Park Tavern in London Road.
While in the Sutton Arms’ beer garden, the woman struck up a conversation with a group of people, including two men. She and her children left with these men to The Park Tavern where they spent 30 minutes.
CCTV shows all seven people left the tavern shortly before 8pm. The suspected rapist and the woman walked back to her home near Valkyrie Road while his friend walked off in another direction. It is then thought that the woman was raped in her home by the man.
Investigating Officer, Dc Lisa Wiggins, said: "As you can imagine, this is a complex enquiry and we have many areas which need clarifying. It is thought that this woman’s memory has been impaired by alcohol. We are now left trying to identify these two men, one of whom is a potential offender while the other is sought after purely as a key witness.
"We ask people to cast their minds back to the first day of the Southend Airshow which was the start of a hot and sunny weekend. We then would ask if anyone recalls seeing this woman with her three young children in tow and her baby in a buggy. They would have been travelling from the beach, then to the Sutton Arms, onto The Park Tavern and then home probably via London Road.
"We would also urge people to look closely at the CCTV image to see if they recognise the man who is suspected of sexually assaulting this woman.”
The suspected rapist is described as white, in his 30s, of athletic build and has broad, muscular shoulders. At the time, he had shaved hair and was wearing a white vest with a racer back and khaki knee-length shorts.
The man’s friend is described as white, of chubby build and had sunglasses on top of his head at the time. He is shorter than his friend.
Anyone with information in connection with this rape is urged to contact detectives at Rayleigh’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team on 101.