Two sex attacks on same night in Leeds could be linked to a robbery

Police have released this efit image.
Police have released this efit image.

Police are investigating whether two sexual assaults on two women in the same night are linked to a robbery earlier in the month.

At 2.35am on Tuesday a 21-year-old woman was walking home after a night out along Woodhouse Lane across Woodhouse Moor when a man grabbed her by the wrists and pushed her against a bus stop.

She struggled free and walked away but he approached her again near to the junction of Delph Lane and Woodhouse Street and grabbed her again by the wrists and pushed her against a building, pulling at her clothing. She shouted for help and the man walked away. She flagged down a passing taxi driver who took her home.

The suspect was described as a mixed race male aged in his late twenties, medium build and about 5ft 8ins tall. He was wearing a light grey oversized puffer-type jacket, with a large triangular hood that he wore up, and baggy jeans.

At about 3am on the same day a different 21-year-old woman was walking home from a night out when she became aware of a man following her along Delph Lane.

As she was on the doorstep of her home in Burchett Grove, Woodhouse, the man approached her and tried to force his way in. The victim managed to shut the door on him and the man left the scene.

He was described as a tall, dark-skinned male, of medium build. He was wearing a dark green coat with a fur-trimmed hood and blue jeans.

Officers are now looking at whether either of these offences could be linked to a robbery which happened at about 4.30am on Tuesday, September 19.

A 21-year-old woman was returning to her home in Blenheim Terrace, Woodhouse, after a night out when she was approached on the doorstep by a man who pulled her to the floor. After a brief struggle he stole the victim’s mobile phone and ran off in the direction of Blackman Lane.

He was described as black, aged 25 to 30, average height and of strong build.

Det Insp Richard Holmes, of Leeds District CID, said: “Although none of the victims were physically injured, these were clearly very frightening experiences for them. These incidents are an obvious cause for concern and we are doing everything we can to identify the suspects involved.

“At this stage we believe that separate suspects are responsible for the two sexual assaults that happened in the early hours of Tuesday. We are also looking at whether the robbery last week is linked to either of those or is a separate incident itself.

“We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed any part of these incidents around the times and locations or who saw anyone fitting the descriptions of the suspects in the area. We would also like to hear from anyone who has been followed or approached at any other time by someone matching the descriptions.

“The victim of the first incident on Tuesday has assisted in producing an e-fit image of the suspect and we would like to hear from anyone who recognises that person.

“We recognise that these incidents will cause understandable concern to people in the area, particularly the student community, and we are working with our colleagues from the local neighbourhood policing team who are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure the community and deter any further offences. The police officers based at the universities have also been briefed and will be offering suitable advice to students.

“Our personal safety advice remains the same as it would at any other time. We’d always encourage people to plan ahead for their journey home and travel by bus or taxi. If you do have to walk then keep with a group of friends and stay to well-lit routes along main roads wherever possible.”

Anyone with any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime number 13170444718 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Martin Fisher

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