Page last updated at 20:33 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Warning following student rapes

Artist impression of attacker
The 17-year-old's attacker is believed to be aged in his 30s

Police are warning women to take extra care during the festive season after two students were raped following nights out in Newcastle city centre.

A 19-year-old was raped on an industrial estate after getting into a car, which she thought was a taxi, early on 5 December.

A 17-year-old was then raped in her own home the next night after being dropped off by a taxi in the Walker area.

The attacks happened about a mile apart but police are not linking them.

Det Ch Insp Michael Barton, of Northumbria Police, said: "Unfortunately, the common theme with both crimes is that young girls after having a night out in the city centre have become so affected by alcohol that their judgement has been affected.

CCTV image of man
This man was seen in the area at the time of the house rape

"They have become isolated from friends and they have placed themselves in positions of vulnerability.

"Let's not be naive or complacent about this, there are men out there that will actively look for women in positions of vulnerability."

CCTV images of a car detectives want to trace in connection with the first attack have been released.

The victim got into a dark-coloured car after leaving the Get Stuffed takeaway in St Mary's Place at about 0400 GMT.

She asked to be taken to her home but was driven to the Hawick Crescent Industrial Estate, where she was raped inside the vehicle.

Officers want to speak to the driver of a dark car seen with its headlights off, and also the driver of a white taxi which was nearby.

Dark-coloured car
The dark-coloured car was being driven without its headlights on

An artist's impression of the man who raped the 17-year-old in the second incident has also been released.

The victim got in the taxi on her own outside The Gate complex in the city centre and was dropped at the St Anthony Shops on Walker Road a short time later.

Police said that sometime after she arrived home an unknown man entered the property and raped her.

Her attacker is described as being in his 30s with short afro style hair and very dark skin.

A CCTV image of a man seen in the area about the time of the attack and who may have important information has also been issued.

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