Police were tonight following up new leads in the hunt for a rapist who left his teenage victim for dead – after millions of people watched a televised plea for help.
BBC One’s Crimewatch featured details of the investigation into the brutal attack on an 18-year-old in Beeston Road, Beeston, on March 6.
She was grabbed at a bus stop and battered with a rock before being raped in a seven-minute ordeal.
More than 100 officers, including 40 detectives, have been involved in the subsequent investigation – one of the biggest Leeds has seen in recent years.
Det Supt Nick Wallen, who is leading the inquiry, said police had received numerous calls following the Crimewatch appeal. “A number of names have been given to us,” he said. “We’ve had a number of calls from police officers, prison officers and mental health workers.”
Reliving the traumatic ordeal in a reconstruction on Thursday night’s programme, the teenager said: “I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t breathe and then he threw me on the floor.
“All I could move was my legs.”
She said she felt like she was in a dream when she regained consciousness. Two girls then came to her aid. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what happened,” she said. “How could he do that?”
The programme also heard from two other women who the predator unsuccessfully stalked the same night. One said: “He had an unblinking stare”
Based on descriptions, police have compiled what they say is the clearest image yet of the attacker (right).
A £5,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers for information.
Spokeswoman Gemma Wilson said: “This horrific incident will no doubt haunt this young woman for a long time and the man who is responsible needs to be brought to justice. He cannot go unpunished for what he has done.”
Call the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 01924 334710 or via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.