£15,000 reward to catch "Thursday Night Rapist"

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The Independent Online

A reward to catch a rapist who strikes on Thursday nights was today increased to £15,000.

A reward to catch a rapist who strikes on Thursday nights was today increased to £15,000.

Sussex Police had already offered a £5,000 reward to catch the serial sex attacker, who is thought to have struck 14 times in the last four years.

And today the News of the World offered an extra £10,000 to stop the attacks, which have all happened in the Chichester and Bognor Regis areas of West Sussex.

The man usually strikes on Thursdays or in the early hours of Fridays. He is thought to have attacked 13 women and raped a 21-year-old in hotel staff quarters at Walberton, near Chichester.

Police have warned that he is stepping up both the frequency and severity of his attacks, and threatens his victims with a knife before covering their faces with clothing.

He struck once in 1996, once in 1997, four times in 1998, four times in 1999 and four times so far this year, according to police.

Another woman woke up to find a man, thought to be the same attacker, standing in her bedroom earlier this month but managed to scare him away.

All the attacks have taken place in victims' homes or in secluded areas. Ages of those attacked were all under 30 - the youngest was a girl aged just 12.

Six of the women were foreign language students and local colleges have been warned by police about the attacker.

A BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of one of the attacks is due to be shown on Wednesday night.

Police said the rapist was often apologetic and remorseful after the attacks and that meant he could have confessed about the crimes to a friend or family member.

The man is white, aged between 25 and 40 and of medium build with dark hair and stubble and wears a black leather jacket. His victims have described him of smelling of alcohol or petrol.