Arrest over double sex attack

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A SEX attacker has struck again at a city centre subway.

In the latest incident, a 25-year-old woman claims to have been sexually assaulted as she walked through an underpass towards Sunderland University’s Murray Library.

The incident, at 4.20am yesterday, is almost identical to one three weeks ago when a 22-year-old reported being assaulted.

On both occasions, the alleged victims say a man has pounced on them from behind before carrying out a frightening sex assault.

Yesterday, the 25-year-old woman was walking alone from the city centre when she was grabbed from behind by a man, who allegedly assaulted her before fleeing the scene.

The woman is not believed to have needed any hospital treatment but is said to be struggling to come to terms with what happened to her.

Inspector Neal Craig, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a frightening attack, which has left the victim incredibly distraught.”

It is thought a taxi drove along Chester Road as the suspected attacker ran off.

Police would like to speak to the driver, who they believe may have seen the man.

Yesterday’s attack comes 21 days after a 22-year-old woman was walking through the subway when a man walked up to her and blocked her path. He then allegedly grabbed hold of her and ripped her clothing as he carried out the terrifying assault.

After a struggle, the woman managed to break free and ran off.

The first incident took place on Wednesday, May 19 at about 11pm.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area and across the city centre in a bid to reassure the public.

Insp Craig added: “I would urge anyone going into the city centre to make sure they have plans to get home. Pre-book a taxi or know where the nearest taxi rank is.

“If it’s only a short distance home and people plan to walk, our advice is don’t walk home alone.”

* A 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault and has been questioned in relation to the incidents.