Fifth sex attack in Cowley

Emma Kinnaird

Residents in East Oxford have been warned to “remain vigilant” after the fifth sex attack in ten days on Monday.

The most recent attack occurred on Westbury Crescent at around 3.30am on Monday 6th June. The victim, a 19 year old woman, was approached from behind, pushed to the ground and sexually assaulted before escaping towards Rose Hill Road.

Detective Inspector Simon Morton said: “The victim of the most recent sexual assault in Westbury Crescent fought with her attacker and has told officers that she remembers biting one of his hands.”

A description has been released of the attacker as 5ft 6in to 5ft 7in tall, in his late 20s or early 30s. He was further described as possibly Albanian, clean shaven and of medium build, with dark hair and olive skin.

The attack comes after two women, aged 19 and 20, were sexually assaulted on Thursday 2nd June near Southfield Road in the Cowley Road area. Two other women had also been similarly attacked earlier that week, on Sunday 29th May, along the same road.

A police press release stated that the most recent attack “is now not believed to be linked to the recent sexual assaults on women in Southfield Road.”

Detective Inspector Morton said: “Our initial feelings after the sexual assault in Westbury Crescent, was that the incident was connected to the previous assaults in Southfield Road.

“However, certain details have come to light that has led us to believe that the attacker in this incident is different from the man who carried out the previous attacks.

A police press release said the attacker involved in the original attacks on 29th May was “described as Asian, in his twenties, about 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins, of a slim to medium build with short black hair, possibly in tight curls. The first victim describes the man as having a flat nose.”

All attacks happened during the early hours of the morning. Investigating Officer Sgt Storry said: “As always we would advise people never to walk home alone and if you are making your way home late at night, it is advisable to take public transport, organise a taxi or arrange a lift. Above all we would encourage people to remain vigilant.”

A second year student living in Cowley said: “I never feel comfortable walking down Cowley on my own late at night anyway, so the police advice is sensible.”

In response to the latest attack, Neighbourhood Sergeant Mike Roddy said: “We would like to reassure residents that we have stepped up patrols in the area to identify the person responsible.

Police are also appealing for witnesses to an assault on Cowley last Wednesday (1st June), in what is being described as an “altercation” on Oxford Road between two men.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Thames Valley Police.