A Worksop woman has spoken of the terrifying moment she was brutally raped in a town street, in the hope it will bring forward information about her attacker.
The woman, who is in her 20s and wants to remain anonymous, agreed to speak to the Guardian at her home.
She told us how she feels like a prisoner - scared to go outside since the attack in Manvers Street in the early hours of Sunday 30th October.
“What this man has done to me has ripped my life apart and it’s destroying my family relationships,” she said.
“I choose not to sleep around and I live a clean life but he has taken that away from me.”
“Now I feel horrible, dirty and disgusting - like it’s my fault because I shouldn’t have gone out that night.”
The woman went out with friends in Worksop town centre on the evening of Saturday 29th October.
“I didn’t really want to go at first. I wanted to stay at home,” she said.
“But my friends said it would be good for me to get out, and once I got my outfit sorted I felt ok.”
The victim and her friends spent the evening in the town centre bars including Vida Lounge and Disraeli’s.
Toward the end of the night she became separated from her friends and went looking for her partner who had also been out.
At about 2.30am (or 3.30am before the clocks were put back) she was approached by a white man about 5ft 8ins tall, outside Disraeli’s in Victoria Square.
“He said he knew where my boyfriend was so I went with him,” she said.
The man led her up Gateford Road, Gladstone Street, Portland Street and onto Manvers Street.
After a while she began to feel uneasy, but it was too late.
“He pushed me to the floor and was grabbing at my trousers, ripping them.”
“I was shouting and kicking for him to get off me. He put his hands round my neck and started strangling me.”
“I thought I was going to die.”
“I tried to fight him off but I just felt numb. My face and lips felt tingly and I just turned my head while he raped me.”
“It felt like it went on forever and all I could think was ‘I want my mum’.”
When the woman finally managed to escape she ran to a friend’s house nearby.
She said the man was stumbling after her still pulling up his trousers while she screamed for someone to help her.
“I didn’t want anyone to know what he’d done - especially my boyfriend because I knew what he would do and I didn’t want to see him locked up.”
The attacker was still hanging around when her boyfriend turned up.
He said: “I could tell something was wrong. I grabbed him by the collar but she kept saying he hadn’t done anything so I let him go.”
“I shook his hand and apologised and I feel sick about that.”
The attacker then left and was last seen jogging back down Gateford Road towards town.
It was then that the victim’s horrific ordeal came spilling out, and her mother called the police.
She has been left badly shaken by the incident and still has scars and bruises on her legs and arms from the struggle.
“The doctor has given me tablets to help me sleep and cope with the anxiety,” she said.
“I don’t feel safe leaving the house. But I don’t feel safe inside either. Someone has got to be with me wherever I go.”
“It has been terrible for our relationship - I don’t know how we’re going to get through it.”
Her boyfriend added: “We’re trying to stay as strong as we can but it’s hard.”
Police think the attacker may have been from the Worksop area because he spoke with a local accent and mentioned local people and places.
Hours of CCTV footage has been scoured as part of the police investigation.
The image above has been released showing a group of people outside the Litten Tree pub in Victoria Square on the night of the attack.
It is thought they might have vital information that could help identify the attacker, and police are urging them to come forward.
DC Helen Commins, leading the investigation, said: “The attack has had a profound and lasting impact on the victim and we are asking for members of the public to help us secure justice for her.”
“The people in the CCTV footage may have seen something that could be vital to our investigation.”
“I would urge anyone with information to come forward and tell us what they know.”
The victim pleaded with the public to help police find her attacker.
“Please, if anyone knows anything about this man you must come forward.”
“No one has the right to just rape someone. I just want him caught because of what he’s done to me and my family.”
Her boyfriend added: “This man is on the loose and he was so violent. He could rape and kill next time.”
l Anyone who recognises anyone in the picture, or has information about the incident, should call Notts Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.