University rapist threatened victim with knife

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The Independent Online

A fresher was threatened with a knife before being raped at a university, police said today.

The 18-year-old woman was attacked at the University of Glamorgan in South Wales during the early hours of Saturday.

The victim, who does not live on campus, was at a friend's room at the Glamorgan Court Halls of Residence in Treforest when it happened. She is currently recovering at home with her family.

A round-the-clock police presence has been introduced on campus and students are being advised to lock their doors and windows at night and walk in groups.

Detectives are now hunting the culprit who is described as a white man, around 6ft tall with solid appearance. He was wearing rough textured dark gloves, a dark-coloured hooded top and dark jeans.

His face was also obscured during the incident sometime between 2.30am and 4.50am by some light-coloured material.

The weapon he used is described as a kitchen-type knife with a stainless steel blade, about 3-4in long with a black handle.

Superintendent Tony Smith, of South Wales Police, said: "The victim is at home with her family, she has been appointed a specially-trained South Wales Police liaison officer and we are keeping them updated on the inquiry as it progresses.

"We understand that this is a disturbing incident but we want to reassure students at the university, parents and the wider community that a full investigation is under way.

"We have a police presence at the University 24 hours a day and are carrying out a detailed search of the area and are examining CCTV.

"Scenes of crime officers are carrying out forensic examinations of a number of rooms in the halls, specialist police teams are searching the surrounding area, and inquiries are being made with the students living in Glamorgan Court."

Vice Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan, Professor David Halton, said: "We are offering full support to the victim and although the campus has an excellent reputation as a safe, friendly campus, in light of this incident we are reminding all students to follow basic safety advice such as keeping all windows and doors locked at night, stay in groups when walking around the campus late at night, and to report any suspicious activity to security staff or the police".

The University has set up a dedicated helpline on 01443 654660 for concerned parents and students.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the incident room at Mountain Ash Police Station on 01443 743 678 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.