Tyne & Wear

Whitley Bay rape to be reconstructed for BBC Crimewatch

A Tyneside woman has spoken of how she was befriended by a stranger who went on to attack and rape her.

The 29-year-old was with a male friend in Whitley Bay, when another man offered to share a taxi on 16 October last year.

But as the group walked to the rear lane of Esplanade Place, the man turned violent, knocking the woman's friend unconscious and raping her.

The woman's ordeal is being featured on the BBC's Crimewatch.

The programme features a reconstruction of events leading up to the attack, which police described as "particularly serious and unusual".

The woman, who cannot be identified, told the programme: "The man came over and started chatting to me friend about football.

'Couldn't speak'

"When we said we were going to get a taxi home, he told us his friend was a taxi driver and we could share a journey home.

"We started walking and when we got to the back lane, all of a sudden he hit my friend.

"I couldn't speak and I felt like everything had been taken away from me."

Her friend, who is also not being named, added: "Knowing that I was there and couldn't do anything is a horrible thing."

Det Insp Paul Race, of Northumbria Police, said: "We have followed up numerous lines of inquiry and studied hours of CCTV to find any indication as to who the offender is.

"We're hoping that national coverage might bring forward witnesses who were visiting the north east that night and provide more information about the identity of the attacker."

The attacker is described as white and in his mid to late 20s, 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall, of chubby build with dark brown hair.

He was wearing a dark blue hoody with writing on it and dark blue jeans, and spoke with a local accent.

Crimewatchwill be broadcast on BBC 1 on Tuesday at 21:00 GMT.

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