'Thursday' rapist may be linked to six attacks

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The Independent Online

A sex attacker nicknamed the "Thursday rapist" may have struck six more times, police disclosed yesterday.

A sex attacker nicknamed the "Thursday rapist" may have struck six more times, police disclosed yesterday.

Police investigating 13 assaults and a rape in West Sussex over a four-year period have been contacted by six more women who may have been victims of the attacker.

The reports follow a public appeal to help catch the rapist, who attacks in the Chichester and Bognor Regis areas and is becoming increasingly violent.

The man, who threatens women with a knife and covers their faces with clothing, struck once in 1996, once in 1997, four times in 1998 and four times in 1999. He has carried out four attacks so far this year.

The youngest victim was a 12-year-old girl, who was assaulted in Chichester in September 1999. A 51-year-old woman found the man in her bedroom in Chichester earlier this month but scared him away. His other victims have all been aged between 12 and 29, and 10 of the 14 attacks have been on a Thursday night or Friday morning.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Scott, heading the inquiry, saidit was too early to say if the six women were victims of the same attacker. "This man will strike again unless he is caught," Det Chief Insp Scott said.

He added there was a £20,000 reward for the conviction of the attacker, who is described as white, aged between 25 and 40, with dark hair and stubble. He often wears a black leather jacket, and his victims have described him as smelling of alcohol or petrol.

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