Police release CCTV image of suspect after woman raped in Whitechapel basement
Police have released CCTV footage and a detailed map of the route a suspected attacker took after he “overpowered” and “violently raped” a young woman in the basement of a commercial property in Whitechapel.
The 22-year-old woman was on her way home after an evening out with friends on November 9.
She was approached by her attacker in Hanbury Street, near Spitalfields Market, before he followed her into a building just after 2am. He “overpowered her and then raped her in the basement of the commercial premises”, police said.
No arrests have been made.
Speaking on Monday on Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch – one of the locations where the accused was captured by CCTV – Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rawlinson said he hoped the “very high quality” footage would help the public recognise the suspect.
“In the early hours of the 9th November a young female was in Hanbury Street. She was approached by a suspect who followed her into a commercial premises and violently raped her,” he said.
“Having left the scene he took a rather convoluted route. We’ve released a map today that shows almost three sides of a triangle have been completed before he gets into a black taxi and leaves.”
The suspect left the commercial premises around 2.35am and proceeded along Lamb Street, turning right up Appold Street and Curtain Road, before turning right onto Great Eastern Street.
He was last seen on CCTV footage at 2.52am hailing a back cab near the crossroads of Great Eastern Street, Commercial Street and Shoreditch High Street.
Mr Rawlinson said: “He walked around for a considerable amount of time and we tracked him on CCTV all the way round, and the CCTV we are releasing today is of very high quality.”
He asked the public to view the footage, and also look at a photo of a body warmer the rapist left behind.
Mr Rawlinson said: “It’s quite distinctive and somebody out there knows who doesn’t have this body warmer anymore. The body warmer is blue in colour, it has a grey fur collar and on the insider it has a distinctive check pattern.
“What I’m hoping is that the public is going to have a look at the footage, have a look at the body warmer and put the two together. Make that connection and then make the phone call to us.”
Mr Rawlinson added he doesn’t necessarily think the attacker is from the area, but may have been out drinking locally that evening.
He described the suspect as “a light-skinned black male, aged somewhere between 25 to 35 we think, and he is of quite a large build, a bit of a heavier build”.
According to the statement released with the CCTV footage, Mr Rawlinson said the victim has been left traumatised.
He said: “This was a horrific attack carried out by a violent predator on a young woman going about her lawful business in what is one of London’s most popular areas for late night socialising.
“It was a brutal assault that has left her very traumatised indeed.”
The police have urged the public to contact them via the investigations team number, 020 8733 5999, or by calling 101.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Metropolitan Police / PA Wire.