‘Fear’ remains in village after sexual assault

PUBLISHED: 13:30 25 May 2012

Archant

A ‘DEGREE of fear’ has remained in a North Somerset village after a woman was subjected to a serious sexual assault at a nearby beauty spot.

The woman was attacked at Blagdon Lake between 10.15pm and midnight on May 17, and both the neighbouring villages of Blagdon and Butcombe have seen increased police patrols since.

Although there has been a concerted effort by the police to reassure the community in the wake of the attack, some residents feel they have been kept in the dark about the ongoing investigation.

No arrests have been made yet. One side of Blagdon Lake was cordoned off for three days following the attack.

There has been an increased police presence, both to identify witnesses and provide reassurance.

Chief Inspector Jeff Foreman, commanding officer in North Somerset, has addressed residents and parish councillors in both Butcombe and Blagdon.

PCSO Ray Bradley, the area’s community support officer, said: “I have talked to lots of residents to reassure them and let them know what we have been doing.

“I spoke to the parents of about 40 children at Blagdon Primary School to offer advice and let them know what is going on.

“Hopefully it will also stop speculation and rumour.”

One resident of Blagdon, Michael Follett, said: “We have got a young girl and we have been told to stay vigilant and be careful about letting her out, especially in the evenings.

“There quite a bit of sadness about what has happened, especially for the poor lady concerned and we are all a bit wary as nobody has been caught. There is a degree of fear around the village.”

Jane Adams, owner of vintage shop Fanny Adams in High Street, said: “There was a large police presence in Blagdon for a few days following May 17.

“But people don’t really know what has happened, there hasn’t been that much communication.

“There seems to be a massive embargo on what’s going on.”

Police are looking for two men in connection with the attack, having eliminated two other men from their investigations.

The force has now identified two new men who officers believe could help in their investigation.

The first is described as white, around 5ft 9ins tall and of a slight but not thin build. He has straight receding brown hair and was seen wearing a dark coloured zip jacket, dark trousers and appeared to be in his mid 30s.

He may also wear glasses.

The second man is described as white, around 6ft tall and with dark hair that was gelled and spiked on top.

He was of a strong build, with a mark on his right cheek.

Officers are also keen to hear from anyone who may have seen strangers in the village or unusual vehicles in the area on May 17.

Anyone with information should contact the force on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111


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