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Monday, 31 July, 2000, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
DNA tests in 'Dracula' hunt
Dracula mask
The attacker sometimes wears a Dracula mask
Police hunting the so-called "Dracula" sex attacker, whose victims include an 11-year-old schoolgirl, are to take DNA samples from hundreds of men.

The man, whose various disguises have included a Dracula mask, has attacked five women in the past eight months around Havant and Hayling Island, near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The investigation, featured on BBC's Crimewatch, has linked two of the attacks positively through DNA tests.

Men aged between 20 and 60 in Portsmouth will be asked to provide samples from the inside of their mouths to eliminate them from police inquiries.

CD-fit
Wanted: CD-fit of the man police want to question
Officers will be making a series of house-to-house visits, urging men to take part in the screening programme.

"Terrifying attacks"

Detective Inspector John Ashworth said: "We consider the man we are hunting to be a dangerous individual who has already shown he is capable of carrying out some terrifying attacks."

Earlier this month he attempted to drag a 15-year-old schoolgirl into bushes as she was cycling home on Hayling Island.

He threatened to kill her but she managed to escape.

Hampshire Police believe the teenager is the only one of his victims so far to have seen the man's face and she was able to give a description to the police

Description of attacker
Aged 35 to 55
White
Clean shaven
5ft 7in tall
Greying hair
Slim

First attack

The first attack was on 1 December last year when an 11-year-old girl was grabbed as she cycled along the same disused railway line as the 15-year-old girl, but she managed to struggle free.

Police have linked the sex attacks on a 13-year-old and a 51-year-old and say all the attacks have similarities.

The women all described their attacker as physically weak and slim, wearing black gloves and some form of mask or hat and smelling of cigarettes.

Police hotline
0845 045 45 45
A police spokesman said: "These attacks have got more and more violent and we fear that he will strike again and the violence will escalate. We must catch this man."

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