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Witness appeal following report of rape in Bournemouth town centre

13 November 2019
Detectives investigating the rape of a woman in Bournemouth town centre are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

Dorset Police received a report at 6.12am on Wednesday 13 November 2019 that a woman had been found with injuries in Lower Gardens in Bournemouth.

Officers attended, along with the ambulance service, and the woman – aged in her 40s – was taken to hospital for treatment. Her condition is described as stable.

While at hospital, the woman reported that she had been walking through the gardens at around 5.40am when she was approached from behind by a man, who assaulted and raped her.

He is described as aged in his 30s with dark hair and facial hair.  

A cordon has been put in place in the gardens to allow officers to examine the scene as the investigation continues.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “The victim has been subjected to a horrific ordeal and is being supported by specially-trained officers.

“I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of Lower Gardens around the time of the incident and witnessed any suspicious activity or a man matching the description given to please contact us.

“I appreciate this incident may cause some concern for members of the public. I would like to reassure them that a full investigation is underway to identify the man responsible. 

“While we do not want to cause any undue alarm, and incidents of this nature are thankfully rare, we would urge people to remain vigilant when heading to work in the early hours of the morning.

“There will be an increased police presence in the area as we carry out enquiries and local officers can be approached with any concerns.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190178951. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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