Ipswich: Neighbours tell of piercing screams of 51-year-old rape victim

IPSWICH: Shocked residents today told how they were awoken by the piercing screams of a woman as she begged for help after being raped.

The 51-year-old was said to have repeatedly cried out as she knocked on doors after being attacked on a dirt track leading from Wroxham Road to the locked gate of Cliff Lane Primary School playing fields.

Police said the victim was assaulted at around 4am yesterday by a man with whom she shared a taxi home.

One woman, who lives next to the track, recalled being awoken by the woman’s shrieks for help.

She said: “I heard a female, who was clearly distressed, shouting. She was in the lane. She then went into the street call for help.

“She was knocking on doors, begging for someone to help her. One of the residents took her in. There has been a big police presence with forensic teams and everything.

“Anything like this that happens on your doorstep is unnerving, but we don’t tend to get a lot of commotion in this street.”

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Colin Nunn, of Wroxham Road, who lives almost opposite the track, reported hearing repeated screams.

He said: “I heard this woman shouting out ‘please somebody help’. She was shouting like hell. She was terrified.

“My wife got up and saw her at the door of the house opposite and they let her in.”

A manhunt is now under way and detectives are urging anyone with information to contact them.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Members of the public called police after hearing screaming around 4.20am.

“One resident opened their door and found a distressed 51-year-old woman who said she had been raped.

“The woman had been out in Ipswich town centre and had shared a taxi with a man back to the Rivers estate.

“It is thought both got out of the vehicle and the man then assaulted her.

“The woman sustained an injury to her head in the incident, which she has received hospital treatment for.”

Yesterday specially-trained officers were interviewing the victim to coax a full account of what happened from her.

Detectives were also trying to trace the man who shared the taxi with the woman and appealed for him to come forward.

Throughout yesterday morning, and into the afternoon, the track where the incident occurred was cordoned off while forensic specialists looked for clues, such as footprints in the wet dirt.

The cordon was taken down just before 3.30pm.

If you have information which could help the inquiry telephone Ipswich CID on 01473 613500.

n Has being the victim of a crime affected your life? E-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.