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Do you recognise this man? Police release E-fit after woman is raped in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 13:52 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:13 22 December 2017

Kimberley Road, Lowestoft, where a woman was raped in a car in the early hours of December 9. Picture: Mick Howes

Kimberley Road, Lowestoft, where a woman was raped in a car in the early hours of December 9. Picture: Mick Howes

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Detectives investigating a rape in Lowestoft have released an E-fit image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the attack.

The victim, a woman in her 30s, was walking along Oulton Road at about 4am on Saturday, December 9, when a man driving what she describes as a small light or silver coloured car stopped and offered her a lift.

She accepted the lift because the man appeared to be genuine and said he had just given a lift to two other people.

At some time between 4.15am and 5.15am, the suspect stopped the car in Kimberley Road, where he raped the victim in the vehicle. She then managed to get out of the car and ran away to get help, following which the police were called.

The suspect is described as being Asian, aged between 30 and 40, short and of slight build. During the car journey he stated to the victim that he often offered people lifts to ‘make friends’.

Officers have now been contacted by other witnesses stating they were given a lift in similar circumstances by a man in Lowestoft shortly before the attack happened. The description they have provided of the man and the car are similar to that provided by the victim, with the added information that the car may have had a wheel trim missing.

The victim is being supported by specially trained officers as efforts to identify the offender continue. This includes forensic work, along with CCTV and house-to-house enquiries.

Suffolk Police are renewing their appeal for witnesses who may have information about the attack.

Det Supt Eamonn Bridger, who is leading the investigation, said: “I am appealing for anyone with information about this horrendous attack to contact us immediately, especially if you believe you recognise the man pictured in the E-fit or have seen a car matching the description given, particularly - but not exclusively - those with a wheel trim missing.

“The victim is being incredibly brave in working with our officers and we are determined to find the person responsible and bring him to justice.

“The suspect presented himself as a Good Samaritan offering the victim a lift on a cold night. We strongly believe that he has previously given lifts to other people and may continue to do so.

“I want to take this opportunity to urge the community of Lowestoft – and people of Suffolk as a whole – to never accept lifts from strangers. Always plan your journey home by walking in groups, making arrangements to get a lift with a friend, or using a taxi.”

Detectives are still trying to trace the driver of a blue or green coloured Ford Fiesta - which had broken down in Kimberley Road at around 5.30am on Saturday morning - to come forward. He was given assistance by a local resident to get the car started and may have vital information to assist the investigation.

The route that the suspect’s car travelled along is believed to have included the following roads: Oulton Road, Church Road, Boston Road, St Peters Street (A1144), Bascule Bridge, Belvedere Road, Horn Hill, Waveney Drive, Durban Road, and Kimberley Road.

Officers are appealing for anyone who may have been in the vicinity of Kimberley Road, or any of the other roads along the route taken by the suspect’s vehicle between 4am and 5.15am, to make contact. This includes anyone who witnessed anything suspicious and anyone who may have dashcam, headcam or CCTV footage.

Anyone with information about this attack, who believes they recognise the person pictured in the E-fit, or who was in any of the roads stated above during the relevant times and witnessed anything suspicious, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference 78398/17.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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