Police investigate second sex attack

Police are investigating a second violent attack on a woman in the same central Nelson neighbourhood where an 18-year-old was raped.

A woman in her 40s was grabbed from behind on the Maitai Walkway and attacked by a male about 10pm last night.

Police said the attack appeared to be sexually motivated.

The woman was attacked from behind after she crossed Bridge St’s Normanby Bridge and walked down to the walkway.

Police are not ruling out a possible link between the incident and the rape of an 18-year-old girl in Queen’s Gardens, only 100 metres away, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police will be increasing their presence in the area until they catch the offender.

In last night’s attack the woman was dragged under the bridge where there was a violent struggle. The woman fought off her attacker and ran away. She suffered bruises and scrapes.

Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Ross Lienert praised the woman’s bravery.

‘‘She’s been subjected to a number of punches, but she’s managed to land a few of her own and escape from the attacker. She’s done extremely well under the circumstances,'' Mr Lienert said.

‘‘It is apparent from the description of the incident that the attack was sexually motivated.’’

The offender is described as Caucasian and about 5ft 7in or 170cm tall. He was of medium build, with short hair and is thought to be in his 20s.

The attacker was wearing dark blue baggy jeans which had a tear at the seat, and a grey long sleeved hoody with a zip up the front. The hood was worn up and had a light coloured lining and a small tear. There was dark writing on the front of the hoody.

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and anyone who may be able to help identify the attacker.

Police would also like to hear from anyone who may have experienced an incident of this nature but had not reported it.

Mr Lienert said police would be speaking to nearby residents over the weekend.

‘‘We have increased patrols in the area. In the meantime I urge people to take extra precautions when walking at night in the area."

He advised people against walking alone in the area and reminded the public that it was important they called police immediately if they saw or heard anything untoward.

An 18-year-old girl was raped about 1am on Sunday in the Queen’s Gardens near the public toilet.

She had been at the Little Rock Bar in Bridge St and stopped to call a taxi when she was grabbed from behind before she could make a call.

She was raped and the offender was frightened off by the sound of people in the area.

She described the offender as skinny, 20 to 25 and as Caucasian with short cropped hair.

On New Year’s Day a 62-year-old woman was brutally raped at the Victory Community Gardens. Nelson fisheries worker Hilton Hone-Heke has been charged with a number of offences in relation to the rape and assault. He is in custody.

Information on either attack in the Queen’s Gardens area can be given by calling Nelson police on (03) 546 3840 or anonymously through Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.