Police appeal after woman raped in North Tyneside

Police are appealing for witnesses following a rape in North Tyneside.

Sunday, 18th December 2016, 7:57 am
Updated Sunday, 18th December 2016, 12:09 pm
Police news.

It happened on Saturday, November 5, at approximately 11pm. The victim, a 21-year-old woman, was standing outside Lola Jeans Bar, The Arcade, Front Street, in Tynemouth, when she was approached by a man she did not know.

He asked her for a cigarette and when she opened her handbag he grabbed some cash from it and ran off. The woman went after him and, when they were on Bath Terrace, managed to take the money back and started to walk away from him. He then grabbed her from behind and raped her. She managed to fight back and bit him on the face, before he made off.

The offender is described as a white man, medium build, approximately 5 feet 8" tall, aged 22 to 25 years. He had blue eyes and ginger-coloured bushy beard. He was wearing a dark-coloured knitted cardigan with the hood up and jogging bottoms.

Detective Inspector Sharon Chatterton said: "This has been an extremely distressing incident for the victim and police are appealing for help for the public to identify the offender. The victim has only recently felt able to come forward and report this.

"It happened last month on the Saturday of bonfire night. I'd ask anyone who was out in Tynemouth that night to think if they could have seen this man. Or if they were in the area near to the bar and may have seen or heard anything suspicious which might be able to help detectives.

"This woman managed to bite her attacker on the face, his cheek, which she believes would have left a mark. Think back do you remember seeing a man you know who fits this description who suddenly had a mark on his face just after bonfire night?

"If so and if you have any information about that night, then please come forward and speak to officers.

"We have specially trained officers supporting the victim and her family and we are working with her and her family to offer them all the support they need.

"We have extra officers on duty in this area this weekend, they are stopping and speaking to people, including potentially vulnerable women and advising them to stick with their friends or family while on a night out and to make sure they have arranged to get home safe.

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 643 of 16/12/16 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.