Police release photofit of rapist

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The Independent Online

Police today released a new e-fit of the man who has carried out 10 sex attacks on women and girls across south east England.

Police today released a new e-fit of the man who has carried out 10 sex attacks on women and girls across south east England.

The likeness, which replaces an an earlier one drawn up soon after the rapist first struck, shows a slightly chubby-faced man with receding, dark cropped hair, tanned, leathery skin and stubble.

Detectives are hoping the image might jog the memory of someone who knows him and lead to a vital breakthrough.

The operation to find the serial sex attacker is the biggest manhunt since the search for the Yorkshire Ripper.

More than 100 detectives from Surrey, Berkshire, London, Hertfordshire and Kent have joined forces to catch the man who has carried out attacks over a year.

His latest victim, a 14-year-old girl, who helped police with a description of the man, was walking along a footpath in Stevenage a week ago when she was dragged into undergrowth and raped.

Police are warning women and girls not to go out walking alone.

They are urged to be alert and not to wear headphones while out – all of the rapist's victims have been grabbed from behind.

He first struck in Ashford, Kent, last November when he raped his youngest victim – a girl of ten. His oldest victim was 52.

Detectives have said they can not rule out the possibility he has attacked women across Britain and police forces nationwide have been alerted.

They have urged women who think they may have been a victim but kept silent about their ordeal to come forward.

They believe a current or former partner may be able to identify the rapist.

Police are investigating whether the man is a van or lorry driver or involved in work that allows him to travel.

Police describe him as white, aged 30 to 50, 5ft 5ins to 5ft 10ins tall, muscular, medium to stocky build with tanned, leathery skin.

He has a gruff voice, possibly with a trace of a north east accent and is thought to be a smoker.