Cambridge sex attacker strikes for ninth time

1 June 2011

In the early hours of Saturday 28th May, an attempted sexual assault on a lone female student occurred in the Silver Street area of Cambridge. Police believe the incident is the ninth such assault by a serial Cambridge sex attacker since November last year.

The latest attack has prompted ever more urgent warnings to female students to remain cautious.

Eight of the attackers’ victims have been on female Cambridge students late at night.

The student was attacked at around 3am in Botolph Lane next to Corpus Christi College, when the attacker approached her on a bicycle and grabbed her from behind. However, she was able to resist, and the attacker fled by bike after she elbowed him in the torso.

Detective Sergeant Phil Priestley from Cambridgeshire Police said: “The latest attack is very similar to previous attacks and in particular what happened in the Mill Pond area on March 7. They were both late at night and the offender cycled up from behind and grabbed the victim. On this occasion he grabbed the woman between the legs from the rear but she struck out at him with her elbow and put him off balance. He regained his balance on the bike and made off towards Trumpington Street. The victim is very shaken by what happened.”

Cambridgeshire police have intensified their search for the attacker, offering a £5,000 reward for information on the person responsible and increasing patrols in areas where offences have been committed. The offender is described as “white, 20 to 30, 5’10” to six foot, of medium build and physically strong. He has short dark hair, stubble and wears a black jacket over a grey hooded jumper – which may have a number 3 on the back”.

The police, senior tutors and college porters have all urged students to remain mindful of their vulnerability, and take measure to avoid situations in which they may be at risk. In an email to Girton students, Maureen Hackett, the College Junior Bursar, said: “The Police advise that you remain extremely vigilant when walking in and around the city, particularly after nightfall and that those who are on foot rather than on bikes should walk in pairs whenever possible, and carry a mobile phone”.

Anyone with information should contact police on 0345 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Alice Gormley & Michael Yoganayagam

Image: Cambridgeshire Constabulary