Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 11:14 UK

Facebook campaign to catch rapist

CCTV image of a man police want to speak to about the attack
Police have called the rape an "awful attack"

The fiance of a young woman who was raped after a night out in Manchester has set up a group on Facebook in an attempt to catch her attacker.

The 20-year-old woman was found by police lying shaking in undergrowth after she was raped in the city on 3 August 2008.

Almost 6,000 people have joined the appeal group on the social networking site since the 27-year-old launched it.

A police spokesman said it "supports the essence" of the Facebook campaign.

Since the attack the force has issued four appeals including CCTV images of a man they want to speak to, but eight months on nobody has been arrested.

Det Insp Mick Montford said: "We looked through dozens of hours of CCTV images with the victim.

"I'm aware of the Facebook appeal, and this is something we are monitoring closely."

It is not a witch hunt - this is purely a way of getting this photo out to people who may know him
Fiance of rape vicitim

The CCTV image of the suspect was taken outside a local pub on the day before the attack happened.

The force denied reports it had opposed the group, but it said it did not want the website to prompt people to "take matters into their own hands".

Det Insp Montford added: "At no stage did we tell this victim to remove this appeal from Facebook.

"Neither did I say that my main concern was for the welfare or human rights of the man responsible for this terrible crime, as my main concern is for the welfare of the victim and members of the public."

The group features the CCTV images issued by police and has asked people with information to contact officers.

The victim's partner wrote on Facebook: "This group does not tolerate vigilante action in anyway shape or form. It is not a witch hunt - this is purely a way of getting this photo out to people who may know him."



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SEE ALSO
Police seek CCTV man over attack
02 Mar 09 |  Manchester
Sex attack on woman walking home
05 Aug 08 |  Manchester

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