Beeston sex attack: Police issue new e-fit ahead of Crimewatch appeal

Detectives investigating the attempted murder and rape of a woman in Beeston have released a new e-fit image of the attacker.

The morphed image has been created by combining the original e-fit image produced from the victim and an additional computerised image based on a description from one of the women he stalked.

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Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “We believe this new image is the most realistic likeness we have yet had of the man we are still working very hard to identify.

“It has been created from the victim’s description of him and from the recollection of one of the women he stalked in the period leading up to the attack.

“I would ask people to study it very closely alongside the other elements of description that we have already released and think hard about whether they know who it is.”

The victim will tell of her ordeal for the first time when the appeal for information features on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme tonight.

The 18-year-old was attacked by a man as she waited at a bus stop in Beeston Road at about 10.40pm on Friday, March 6. She was dragged into a nearby garden and struck over the head numerous times with a large stone before being raped. She received serious head injuries and a fractured pelvis.

A reconstruction of the incident, which features on the BBC One programme at 9pm tonight, will include information from the victim’s police interviews as well as comments passed on from her as she continues her recovery.

In her account, she tells the programme through words spoken by an actor: “Then it was getting dark. I went to the bus stop. I was waiting for the bus to go home. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what happened. I’ve stopped sleeping because I can see what happened when I am trying to sleep.”

The Crimewatch production team filmed in Leeds last week using actors around the scene and in the areas where the offender stalked three different women elsewhere in the city in the time leading up to the attack.

The reconstructions will feature accounts from two of the women he followed and an appeal will be made to identify another woman shown on CCTV being stalked by him in the city centre.

Det Supt Wallen said: “This was an appalling attack on a young women where a shocking level of violence was used which could so easily have had fatal consequences

“It has understandably had a very significant traumatic effect on the victim and that clearly comes across in the emotive comments she has made which feature in tonight’s Crimewatch programme.

“We are very grateful to the local and national media for all the support they have given our ongoing appeals over the last seven weeks. The Crimewatch programme is however a particularly prominent platform for the appeal and we are hoping that among its millions of viewers tonight could be someone who has that crucial piece of information that could help us to identify this man.

“As well as a detailed reconstruction of the incident itself, the programme will also include accounts of the stalking incidents that led up to it. We are hopeful that the woman shown being followed, who we have not yet identified, will come forward as a result of this new appeal.

“Although we are now seven weeks into this investigation, our resolve to catch this man remains as strong as it was on day one.

“We are continuing to conduct a very wide range of enquiries to identify him and would urge anyone who thinks they know who it might be to contact us immediately.”

The independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is continuing to offer a reward of up to £5,000 for any information passed directly to them that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 01924 334710 or via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.