Police are hunting a vicious attacker who fled from a Mansfield park covered in blood after repeatedly punching a woman who he then sexually assaulted.
The victim had been walking her dog at around 9.10pm on Saturday night when she was approached by the man, in what police are describing as a ‘chaotic attack’.
The woman, who has not been identified by police, was repeatedly punched in the face by the male offender, who then sexually assaulted her in the recreation ground at Racecourse Park, close to Epsom Street.
Officers investigating the assault said that the offender initially appeared calm as he approached the woman, and there was no indication that he had been drinking.
Det Chief Insp Andy Crouch, who is leading the investigation, said the attacker had been standing near a hedgerow close to a footpath in the well-lit area, and approached his victim with a dark hood pulled over his head.
He told Chad: “The victim has told us that the offender’s overall demeanour was calm but that the attack became chaotic. The offender did not smell of alcohol or tobacco and is actually described as clean-smelling.
“But this was a vicious assault and he punched the woman repeatedly to the head during the attack.
“She has been really strong and has wanted to help as much as possible - as her recollections have been coming back to her, she has given us a lot of information. She is now recovering with the support of her family and the police.”
The offender is white, around 20 years old, between 5ft 8 and 6ft tall and of slim build.
At the time of the attack he was clean shaven and was wearing a dark hooded jacket and light trousers. He spoke with a local accent.
Police said that the attacker left the park on foot and his trousers would have been heavily blood-stained. A 32-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the assault over the weekend has been released without charge.
DCI Crouch added: “We are appealing to friends and family of this man to come to us, so he can be brought to justice.
“Whoever did this would have come home on Saturday evening or early Sunday morning, probably quite out of sorts - they wouldn’t have been themselves.”
“We also know that the attacker was wearing cream trousers and these would have been covered in blood.
“We would appeal for anyone who knows who committed this offence, or suspects that a friend or relative may have been involved to come forward.
“The victim has told us that she thinks she recalls someone riding past her on a bike round about the time she was attacked, and there may have been someone else out walking is the area, and we would ask anyone who witnessed the assault to get in touch.”
Det Insp Darren Mee, who is also working on the investigation, said: “We know that there were people in the area around the time of the attack. If you saw anything suspicious or someone you know has been acting suspiciously particularly anyone returning with blood on clothing, please contact us.”
Anyone with information should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
PICTURE: DCI Andy Crouch appealing for information at the site of the attack near Racecourse Park.