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9th December 2014

27-year-old arrested on suspicion of Fallowfield rape

A man is being held in custody in connection with the rape of a 22-year-old student on Ladybarn Lane on the 5th of December

A 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the rape of a female student on the 5th of December.

The victim was walking home from a friend’s house along Ladybarn Lane when she was pushed into an alleyway and raped between the hours of 11:30pm and 12:17am.

The attacker was described as aged between 20 and 30, black with a light skin tone, and around 6ft tall.

A man was arrested and is being held in custody, on suspicion of carrying out the rape, for questioning.

The 22-year-old student is now receiving trauma support from specially trained officers and Greater Manchester Police stepped up patrols in the Fallowfield area following the crime.

It is not thought that this attack is connected to the similar rape of a 19-year-old student between Whitby Road and Filey Road in Fallowfield that occurred at around 3:40am on the 25th of October, though investigations are still being carried out and the search for the attacker in this incident, described as 5ft 9in, of black or Asian descent, slim and with short black hair, continues.

Detective Inspector Tanya Kitchen, of GMP’s Sexual Offences Unit, said “In both incidents the victims were students. Both ourselves and the university have been supporting them through this and we remain absolutely determined to catch the men responsible.

“At this stage we don’t believe the two incidents are linked, but we don’t want to alarm people.

“We simply want women to take some sensible common-sense precautions. These include sticking to well-lit areas if possible, making sure your friends know where you are or walking home with others at night where possible.

“We have made an arrest, but the investigation is very much ongoing and people will continue to see more police officers in the area in the coming days.”

Students’ Union Women’s Officer Jess Lishak, in an official statement on Facebook on the 7th, said, “my thoughts are with the woman who was raped walking home from a friend’s house in Fallowfield this weekend and all of the other women who have been subjected to sexual violence on our campus and all over the world. These three incidents are horrendous and upsetting but unfortunately they are just the tip of a very large iceberg.

“I am working with the university and the police to look at ways that we can keep our students safer whilst not going down the route of telling women to stay locked up in their houses as if we don’t have as much right to go wherever we want, whenever we like, wearing and drinking what we fancy.

She further explained the university’s Safe Taxi Scheme, under which university-accredited taxi company Street Cars accepts student cards in lieu of cash under the agreement of payment the following day in return for the card.

Students have recently been signing a petition for Greater Manchester Police to shift their focus from shutting down student parties to dealing swiftly and effectively with the crimes that make many afraid to live in the student area. The petition has gained almost 7000 signatures already.

Anyone who may have information about either crime or related incidents should call the police on 0161 856 1983 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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