THE victim of a frightening late-night sex attack has bravely spoken about her ordeal as police release an e-fit picture of the man responsible.
As reported in the Daily Echo, the woman, a 20-year-old Bournemouth University student, was walking to get a bus after leaving her friends at the Old Fire Station in Holdenhurst Road when she was attacked in a subway close to Asda in the town.
She told the Daily Echo: “You don’t expect it to happen.
“I’ve been very shocked. I’ve been feeling down, but I’m just trying to stay strong and help the police with what I can.
“The police have been very helpful, doing all they can, which is helping me deal with it.”
Detectives yesterday released an e-fit of the suspect following the attack at around 1.30am last Friday, February 1.
The victim was grabbed from behind as she walked.
She did not sustain any serious physical injuries, but was left badly shaken by her experience.
Her attacker is described as white, of large build, 27-35 years old and between 5ft 7ins and 5ft 11ins tall.
Police said he had dark hair and stubble, big eyes, a crooked nose, pock-marked skin and had a dirty appearance.
He was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a top with a logo on the chest.
Since the attack, police have been reminding students of the dangers of walking home alone late at night. Representatives of the Students’ Union also visited Bournemouth’s CCTV control room yesterday after criticism of the images released at the weekend.
CCTV operators reassured them that the original pictures were higher quality than those released by police.
The victim added: “Before something like this happens you hear of it and you don’t expect it to be you.
“This proves it can be anybody.
“If people can avoid going home late at night on their own they should do – share a taxi or walk home in a group, don’t be alone, whether you’re a girl or a guy.
“The police are doing all they can but anybody who has any information should get in touch with them. We need to get this guy off of the streets, not just for me but for everybody else.
“What makes this worse is it could be another girl and it could be worse next time.”
DS Andy Bell, of Bournemouth CID said: “I would urge the man pictured – and anyone who recognises him – to contact me, in confidence, as soon as possible.”
Call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting incident number 01:20, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.