Police hunt Queen's Gardens rapist

Nelson Police are appealing for information from the public following the rape of a young woman in Queen's Gardens in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Detective Sally McBride said the 18-year-old woman left the Little Rock Bar on Bridge St shortly after 1am, and walked towards the Suter Gallery.

The woman stopped to call a taxi, but was grabbed from behind before she was able to make the call. She was dragged down a path into Queen’s Gardens, where she was raped.

The attack did not last long as the offender appeared to have been frightened by the sound of people walking and laughing in the area.

The victim was able to call a taxi when the offender ran off, and was picked up about 1.20am and taken home.

Detective McBride said police would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time, who may have seen either the victim or the offender.

The offender was described as a male Caucasian with pale skin, about 5ft 5, with very short cropped hair.
He was skinny, about 20 to 25 years old, and wearing a light black t-shirt and black jeans. The victim, who was wearing a black dress, believed he may have had a lip piercing.

Tasman police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said the victim reported the attack on Sunday, sometime after she got home.

‘‘We’re certainly taking it very seriously.’’

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation should call Nelson Police on (03) 546 3840. Anonymous information can also be given by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.