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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Rape suspect identified by police
Rape suspect
The suspect is not being linked to the four other offences
Police investigating a series of rapes in Northampton have released an artist's impression of the main suspect to one of the attacks.

The man is believed to be responsible for raping an 18-year-old woman in a side road in the town on 31 July.

The offender is described as a black man in his mid 30s, of slim build and about 6ft, with pronounced upper teeth.

Officers now believe this offence may not be connected to the two other rapes and two attempted abductions in August.

'On his own'

The woman was outside a pizza shop in Horseshoe Street when she was approached by the man.

He started talking to her, but then put his arms around her waist and neck and walked her across a dual carriageway, into a side road and onto a grassy area, where he raped her.

At the time of the incident he was wearing black jeans and pale blue checked shirt.

Detective Inspector Tom Thompson, who is leading the hunt, said: "We are appealing to anyone who recognises this man from the artist's impression or from the description of him and his clothing to contact us as a matter of urgency.

"We now believe that this man is probably not involved in the other four offences we are investigating, as it appears he was on his own, is of a different description to the other offenders and did not use a car during the offence."

Unwanted advances

Police are also keen to trace a man and a woman who may have witnessed the attack, but not been aware of this at the time.

They were on a footpath called Narrow Toe Lane, adjacent to St Peters Court flats, near to where the offence happened between 0030 BST and 0001 BST on 31 July.

In separate incidents three women were raped in the town centre over ten days while two others managed to fend off unwanted advances from men - leading police to fear that a gang could be operating in the town.

Three men arrested last week as part of the investigation have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

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19 Aug 05 |  Northamptonshire

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