Man sought over Christchurch sex worker assaults

Police are seeking this man in relation to assaults on sex workers in central Christchurch on Friday morning. Photo NZ Police
Police are seeking this man in relation to assaults on sex workers in central Christchurch on Friday morning. Photo NZ Police
Security footage has been released of a man being sought by Christchurch police over assaults on sex workers early on Friday.

The images show a man walking on Manchester Street near the intersection with Bealey Avenue at around 3am on Friday, shortly before the first of the two attacks in the central city. The second attack occurred about two hours later.

Police wanted to speak to the man in relation to at least one of the attacks, said Detective Sergeant Richard Quested.

"We can't say for sure that the two incidents are linked, but there are similarities about the descriptions, timing and locations so we are keeping an open mind on the possibility that the same offender was involved.

"We are appealing for this man to come forward and contact police - and for any information from anyone who can help us identify and locate him."

The man police are seeking is described as a Maori or Polynesian of solid build, with long, straggly hair, possibly tied in a ponytail. He was pictured wearing a white or light-coloured jacket.

Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen the incidents or any unusual activity in the Manchester Street-Bealey Avenue area around 3am and 5am on Friday.

It is likely a number of people will have been in the area, including sex workers, but also people travelling to and from workplaces, Detective Sergeant Quested said.

Police will step up patrols in the area this week to assist with enquiries and provide reassurance to street workers.

Inquiries are also continuing into the assault on a 34-year old man in Matipo Street, Riccarton, on Saturday night.

The man was assaulted with a spade, and is now in a stable condition in hospital.

Police say they have identified four young people who are believed to have been involved in the assault, and are following positive leads to find them.

Detective Sergeant Valyn Barrett said police are seeking a blue 1994 Subaru saloon, registration number ZH8066, which may have a 'spacesaver' tyre on one of the rear wheels.

Investigators are also asking any witnesses to come forward in relation to an assault on a 53-year old man in Pateke Place, Bromley.

A 40-year-old man was arrested and appeared in court on Saturday charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was remanded in custody to reappear on 17 March.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch police on (03) 3637400(03) 3637400. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1110800 555 111.


Self defence in Christchurch

Meanwhile, the Prostitutes Collective reported working women are carrying 'legal and illegal' items to defend themselves, which is sensible.

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