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UPDATED: Police launch manhunt after woman raped in Weymouth
A WOMAN in her 50s was raped at a house in Weymouth.
Community leaders have spoken of their shock after police said they were investigating a ‘serious sexual assault’ at an address in a residential avenue in the Radipole area during the early evening.
No arrests have been made but police are keen to track down a man or two people who were seen in the area prior to the alleged attack. A brief description has been issued.
Detective Inspector Stewart Dipple of Weymouth CID has appealed for witnesses who may have seen anyone in the area – including one man described as a white, tall man wearing dark clothing.
The attack happened in St Andrew’s Avenue at about 7.30pm on Thursday, a spokesman for Dorset Police said.
The victim, a Weymouth woman, has been interviewed by officers and an examination has been carried out at the property by specialist crime scene investigators in a bid to gather clues.
Detectives made house-to-house inquiries throughout yesterday, asking neighbours if they saw or heard anything suspicious.
St Andrew’s Avenue, a cul-de-sac which can be accessed off Monmouth Avenue and also on its western side along a path from the end of Hetherly Road, is a mixture of new and old-style housing.
Residents were shocked to hear what had happened in what they said was a quiet, low-crime area.
One man, who didn’t want to give his name, said: “The police came around on Friday morning asking if I had seen anything.
“They said there had been an ‘incident’ but wouldn’t say anything else.
“I was out at the time when they say it happened and didn’t get back until late.”
He added: “It’s a nice area here.
“I’ve not been here that long but it’s a nice neighbourhood and I’ve not heard of anything bad going on.”
Nigel Toye, of local butchers P R Howell in Dorchester Road, said he had not heard anything about the incident from any of his customers.
He added: “It’s very unusual for something like that to happen. It’s not a bad area at all.”
Ward councillors also told of their shock at the crime.
Borough councillor for Radipole Ian Roebuck said: “I can only hope residents will do everything they can to help police with their inquiries.”
Fellow councillor for Radipole Bill White said: “I would ask the public to give the police every assistance.”
Coun White added: “Attacks of this nature are almost unknown here.
“The area is a very pleasant place, and a desirable place to live.
“I wish the police every success with the investigation and hope they can find the people responsible.”
DETECTIVE Inspector Stewart Dipple, of Weymouth CID, said: “I’m appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have seen a man or two people in St Andrew’s Avenue immediately prior to 7.30pm to contact Dorset Police urgently.
“We are eager to trace this man, or these two people, who we believe may have been in or around the area for some time before the incident.
“One of these people is described as a white, tall man wearing dark clothing.”
Witnesses and anyone with information can call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting reference number 7:528, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.