Man arrested after Rotherham sex attacks

Det Supt Lisa Ray
Det Supt Lisa Ray
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Police have arrested a 26-year-old man after two serious sexual attacks in South Yorkshire.

He was arrested in the Moorgate area of Rotherham this morning on suspicion of rape and he remains in custody where he will be questioned by detectives.

Officers will continue to make enquiries and high visibility controls will continue in the area.

Extra police have been on duty, and senior officers today urged people living in the Moorgate area of the town to be especially vigilant, following the two separate incidents - which could be linked.

And detectives appealed for any homeowners or businesspeople in the Moorgate area whose premises have CCTV cameras to allow officers to see the footage in case images of the offender or offenders has been captured on film.

Police said a 27-year-old woman was walking along Green Lane between 11pm and 11.30pm on Friday night where she was grabbed by a man, subjected to a brutal attack and sexually assaulted.

Afterwards she was dragged onto Moorgate Road where passing members of the public intervened. The man then fled the scene on foot.

Just 90 minutes later at 1am on Saturday morning a man broke-in to an address, also in Moorgate, and two women were seriously assaulted - after which the younger of the women was then sexually attacked.

Police have released a description of the suspect.

He is described as white, aged in his mid to late 20s, around 6ft 3ins tall, stocky and clean shaven.

He has receding short dark blond hair and the victim said he had blue eyes.

He was also said to be carrying a plastic carrier bag.

At the time of the attack he was wearing a light-coloured, short-sleeved top, light coloured trousers and light coloured shoes.

Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, the district police commander for Rotherham, said: “I’d like to thank the members of the public who have already contacted the police with information, and urge anyone else who saw or knows something to come forward immediately.”

Police said up to 50 officers had been working on the investigation over the weekend.

Detective Superintendent Lisa Ray said: “Our priorities at this stage in the investigation are to locate the person or persons responsible for these horrific attacks, and to piece together a description of them.

“Additional officers are supporting the investigation which is initially focusing on conducting forensic and house-to-house inquiries and, critically, to support the victims.”

Chief Supt Harwin said: “At this time, until we have someone in custody, I would ask the public to be more cautious when out and about in their community.

“We are increasing the number of officers on patrol in the area.

“But if anyone sees anyone acting suspiciously we urge them to contact police.”

Chief Supt Harwin added: “These types of offences are incredibly rare.”

No arrests have yet been made.

Anyone with information is urged to call 01709 443414 quoting incident 730 of September 28.