A MAN has been arrested after a teenager was allegedly raped in woodland near Wool.

Police said on Wednesday evening that a 51-year-old man from Bournemouth has been arrested on suspicion of rape and is assisting officers with their enquiries.

The man has since been released with no charge and police say no offences were committed.

It comes a young woman was attacked in a terrifying ordeal off a country lane yesterday morning near Wool. 

An investigation has been launched following the incident.

At 12.03pm yesterday, Dorset Police received a report that an 18-year-old woman had been raped by an unknown man in a wooded area off a country lane, which leads from Bindon Lane toward Woodstreet Farm and the B3071.

The incident occurred sometime between 10.30am and 11.30am as the woman was cycling along the road. She said a car approached her from behind, causing her to lose her balance and fall off.

Police said that, as she got up from the ground she noticed the driver of the car had pulled up and got out of his vehicle. He then guided her into a wooded area where he sexually assaulted and raped her.

Dorset Echo:

Police have cordoned off the scene. Picture: Bournemouth Echo

The victim was discovered by members of the public shortly after the incident and they helped her raise the alarm.

Detectives from Dorset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) are leading the investigation into the incident.

Detective Inspector Mark Jenkins, of MCIT, said the victim had been subjected to a 'terrifying ordeal' and had been left extremely distressed. 

He added: "She is currently being supported by specially-trained officers.

“I would like to reassure members of the public that we are carrying out a detailed investigation.

"This incident occurred on a relatively quiet country road but I understand it is very popular with dog walkers. I would urge anyone who was in the Bindon Lane area at the relevant time and saw a man or car matching the description given to contact Dorset Police immediately.

“I am particularly interested in speaking to dog walkers who were in the area and may have important information that could assist our enquiry. This includes anyone walking a Schnauzer in that vicinity and a man wearing shorts and a T-shirt who was with a chocolate brown-coloured greyhound. If this was you or you know who it might have been please call us.

“Finally, I would appeal to any motorists who were travelling in the area between 10am and midday on Tuesday 7 August and may have captured the offender, his vehicle or the victim on dashcam to please come forward. If you live nearby and have CCTV at your property please contact us.

“There will be an increased police presence and cordons in the area as the scene is examined and enquiries are carried out. Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out high visibility patrols over the coming days and can be approached with any concerns.”

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 7:200. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Parish council backs police appeal

Wool Parish Council has backed the police's appeal and has commended the young woman for her bravery at this distressing time. 

A parish council spokesman said: "Wool Parish Council would like to send their thoughts of strength and support to the girl and her family."