Beds, Herts & Bucks

Dunstable sex attack: Belgian condom clue revealed

E-fit picture of Dunstable sex attack suspect
Image caption The suspect is described as having "olive skin"

A man who sexually assaulted a woman at knifepoint in her car left a distinctive unopened condom packet behind, Bedfordshire Police have said.

Officers said the flavoured condom, made by Star'tex, was left in the front passenger seat after the attack in Dunstable on 21 February.

The victim was leaving the Shell garage in Poynters Road when the attacker got into her dark grey 4x4.

She was forced to drive to Tomlinson Avenue where she was assaulted.

Det Insp Ruth Dodsworth, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: "We know that [this Star'tex batch] was only sold in outlets in Belgium from December last year.

Feared for life

"If anyone knows someone who has this brand of condom then we need to hear from them."

The woman, in her late 20s, was abducted as she was driving off the forecourt at about 18:55 GMT.

In a reconstruction of the crime on the BBC's Crimewatch programme on Thursday, her comments about the ordeal, which lasted for about 15 minutes, were voiced by an actor.

She said: "As soon as I saw the knife I thought he was going to kill me.

"I turned the music up, I was trying to beep my horn and make it look like an accident and the last thing I did was I turned the light on and he got really angry."

Image caption The Star’tex manufacturers confirmed the batch this condom was from was sold in Belgium from December

She fought back, sustaining injuries to her head and hands.

'Foreign accent'

On the BBC One programme, police also released an artist's impression of a man they want to question.

The offender is described as white, about 5ft 10in tall and of slim-to-medium build, with olive skin and possibly short stubble on his face.

He was wearing dark trousers, which had fluorescent markings on each side.

Ms Dodsworth revealed the offender spoke with a foreign accent, "maybe Italian".

She said he took the victim's HTC model phone in a purple phone case, which has not been recovered.

Officers would also like to speak to a man who was walking up Tomlinson Avenue and turning right into Beadlow Road at about 19:15 GMT as he might have "vital information".

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