Shock at sex attack in ‘safe part of our town’

IPSWICH: Residents in Stoke Park are today in shock after a teenager was sexually assaulted in the area.

A 19-year-old woman was walking along Belstead Road on Sunday night when a man approached her and demanded she hand over her phone at about 11.20pm.

He then wrestled the victim to the ground and sexually assaulted her causing minor injuries and bruising.

Police were alerted at 11.50pm and said the female is “very shaken” following the attack.

Meanwhile, residents are today still trying to come to terms with the assault, which happened in their “safe” neighbourhood.

Forensic officers spent yesterday examining the area and police have cordoned off a section of wasteland near boarding school St Joseph’s College.

David Bugg of Belstead Road said: “This is a nice area and I haven’t heard of anything like this happening before. You have the odd one or two making a bit of noise on their way back from the pub but that’s it.

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“It just shows you these kind of things can happen anywhere.”

He added: “It is a dark area and not very well lit so I suppose there are so many places a person could duck in to.”

Fellow Belstead Road resident Janet Chapman was also shocked by Sunday’s events.

She said: “I didn’t hear anything and didn’t know anything about it until I was walking my dog this morning. A policeman helped me round the cordon with my dog .

“It’s lovely here. I have lived in this road for over 30 years and have never had any problems or worries about safety until now.”

Paul West, borough councillor for the area, reiterated Belstead Road is usually very safe.

He said: “Generally this is a good place to live.

“It just shows you in Ipswich no area is safe from these types of crime.

“However, I think we need to remember generally this is a lovely part of the town.”

The man who attacked the teenager is described as white, in his twenties and slightly taller than 5’9/10”.

He is believed to be stocky and was wearing dark coloured tracksuit bottoms, a dark coloured tracksuit top with the hood up and white trainers at the time of the assault.

Speaking at the scene of the crime Detective Inspector Stuart Sowerby of Ipswich CID said: “I don’t think lights in the street are an issue.

“If a person wants to hide they will be able to hide whether it is in a quiet area like this or in a highly populated area behind a wall.

“We are examining the scene and will be trawling CCTV recordings to find out as much as we can. We are also doing door-to-door enquiries and forensics are working at the scene.”

He added: “We are also doing a massive appeal for witnesses. We would ask anyone who has any information to please come forward and help with our investigation.”

Anyone who was in the area around the time this incident occurred or who has any information in relation to this incident is asked to contact DI Stuart Sowerby at Ipswich CID on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

n Are you a resident of Stoke Park? Do you think that stretch of road ought to have streetlights? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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