Beeston community rallies as police hunt for bus stop rapist continues

A screenshot of the new CCTV footage.
A screenshot of the new CCTV footage.
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A community meeting is due to take place this weekend to discuss ways to combat sexual violence following a young woman’s rape and attempted murder.

The event – called Stop Sexual Violence in Beeston – is being held at the Hamara Centre on Tempest Road, less than half a mile from where the 18-year-old was assaulted and left for dead on March 6.

Police are continuing to hunt the man who grabbed the woman at a bus stop on Beeston Road before dragging her into the garden of a house.

He battered her with a rock and raped her before leaving for dead. The woman is continuing her recovery after suffering serious head injuries and a broken hip.

Tomorrow’s meeting has been organised by Sanaz Raji, who used to live in the area. It comes the day after police released new CCTV images they described as giving the “clearest image yet” of the suspect.

Writing on Facebook, she said: “We need to work together – churches, temples, mosques etc – to condemn this gruesome level of violence.

An efit of the Beeston Road rapist.

An efit of the Beeston Road rapist.

“The brutality and horror inflicted on that 18 year-old Asian woman could have been me, it could have been you. Women deserve the right to go home in peace without the threat of sexual violence or death.”

The attacker was described as being Asian or Middle Eastern and in his early 20s, with receding hair.

Police said he remained silent throughout the eight-minute attack and it is thought he may have recently arrived in the country.

Two other women have come forward to report being followed in the Burley area by a man matching his description an hour before the attack.

Ms Raji said tomorrow’s meeting, which is due to start at 11am, would discuss ideas including better street lighting in the Beeston area, organising a Beeston community watchdog to walk the streets at night and free self-defence classes for women.

She is also proposing a ‘Reclaim the Night’ march to “send a message that sexual assault like this will not be tolerated”.

She added: “Together we can make Beeston a safer place for women and young girls. Enough is enough! Rape violence must end, now.”

Anyone with information in relation to the attack should call police on 01924 334710, 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.