POLICE working to solve a 10-year-old rape case say they have had a “good response” to their fresh appeal for information.
On Tuesday, July 22, 2003, a 16-year-old girl was raped in Washington Old Village when she was walking near the junction of the A1231 and Parkway.
The attacker dragged her into nearby bushes and sexually assaulted her.
Last week, on the 10th anniversary of the assault, police, and the rape victim, renewed their appeal to help catch the man.
Today, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Hetherington, of Northumbria Police, said: “We’ve had a good response from the public and received a number of calls that have given us valuable information. These will now be followed up.
“We still want to hear from people who may be able to help us in our inquiries, and if anyone thinks they have information that can help us identify the offender, we want to hear from them. No matter how small or insignificant they think this information is, it could prove vital.
“The offender knows he is wanted by police and it is only a matter of time before we identify him. Ten years ago he brutally attacked a 16-year-old girl and she has had to live, knowing her attacker has never been caught. Our investigation will continue and make sure he faces up to what he has done.”
During the horrific ordeal, which happened at 8.30pm, the man threatened the girl with a knife, leaving scratches on her throat.
Speaking on the anniversary, the victim said: “Please help me find the man responsible for raping me so no one else has to go through what I am going through.”
During the past decade, DNA has allowed officers to eliminate more than 1,000 people from the inquiry.
An artist’s impression of the attacker was created after the victim provided a detailed description of the man and the clothes he was wearing. The image was circulated in the media and posters displayed in the area. It was again recirculated last week.
The rapist, who will now be aged about 50, is described as 6ft tall and of medium build. He was wearing a blue baseball cap, green cagoule or rain jacket, blue jeans and brown shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.