Police say an alleged rapist may have been wearing a
high-visibility vest when he attacked a woman in her Sockburn
A large number of police converged on Middlepark Rd about
10.50am yesterday after reports a woman in her 20s had been
The woman was treated at the scene by St John Ambulance
medics and is today being cared for by family members.
Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney said police were
working to confirm details of what happened at the property.
"Our priority at the moment is the ongoing care of the victim
and her family."
He said the alleged attacker, described as aged in his 40s
with two front teeth missing and possibly wearing a
high-visibility vest, was not known to the victim.
Detective Senior Sergeant Sweeney said police wanted anyone
who may have seen a person answering this description, or any
other unusual activity in the Middlepark Rd area between 10am
and 11am yesterday, to contact police urgently.
"We would also like to hear from anyone in the area who has
noticed any suspicious activity or vehicles in the vicinity
over recent days and weeks, including unfamiliar people
knocking on doors or visiting properties."
Police swooped on Westfield Mall in Riccarton about 12.50pm
after police at the shopping centre saw a man fitting the
description of the attacker. The man, who was wearing a
high-visibility vest was interviewed and released.
A scene examination at the Middlepark Rd property was
expected to continue today.
Detective Senior Sergeant Sweeney said police would remain in
the area talking to neighbours and residents.
St Thomas of Canterbury College was locked down for about an
hour while police scoured the neighbourhood.
A college spokeswoman told The Star police said they were
looking for someone and suggested teachers and pupils stay in
"We weren't locked down for long," she said.
An elderly woman who lived near the house where the woman was
attacked said she had no idea that anything had happened
until police knocked on her door.
She was told there had been a rape, and said she had never
heard of anything like that happening in the area previously.
Stevie Cormack, who lives next door to the house where the
alleged rape occurred, said she was out yesterday morning and
came home to find the street packed with police.
"It's a little bit frightening," Ms Cormack said. "I've got
two little kiddies and it's not a nice thing to have happened
Steve Hooper, who lives in the front flat, said the
neighbours kept to themselves.
He didn't realise anything had happened until police told him
there had been an attack at the house.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch
police on 03 363 7400.
Alternatively, to provide information anonymously contact
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- By Cullen Smith and Cameron Russell of The Star