Fears of repeat sex offender in capital

A second sexually motivated attack near Victoria University in Wellington has sparked fears a repeat offender may be preying on vulnerable young woman in the area.

The attack in Kelburn early this morning comes after a similar incident in the same area yesterday morning.

Detective Senior Sergeant Warwick McKee said a young woman had been walking home to her house near the Boyd Wilson Field about 1am today.

"She had put some safety measures in place - she had walked home with another couple."

However, the woman was met by a man when she walked up an access way towards her house.

"He has spoken to her briefly and then indecently assaulted her before she's run off to her home address."

A woman was attacked after walking up the stairs from the Terrace to the Boyd Wilson Field about 1.55am yesterday.

The victim screamed and fought off the attacker, then ran down towards the Terrace.

Mr McKee said houses around the university were popular among students, and many of them walked home from work or a night out in town using dimly lit paths and parks in the area.

"Unfortunately, this person is using that to prey on people on these people as they are walking home, and taking advantage of them.

"We're pretty determined to catch this guy before something really serious happens."

Mr McKee said it was concerning the incidents had happened only a day apart.

He urged people - particularly students and young women - to take safety precautions when walking home in the area, especially in the early morning.

If they did choose to walk, they should be accompanied by friends so they could "be a bit safer while they're doing so".

Police have increased patrols in the area and were working with Victoria University to address the risks, including discussions on better lighting.

This morning's attacker was described as a Caucasian man in his mid-20s, of medium build, with a black hoodie pulled over his head.

Mr McKee said the description was "very similar" to that of yesterday's attacker.

That person was described as a 1.8m tall Caucasian, aged 25-30, of a medium build with light-coloured facial hair. He was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt.

Police wanted to hear from anyone who had information about the attacker, or had seen any suspicious activity in the area.

They would also like to hear from anyone who had been assaulted there but not reported it.

Anyone with information was urged to contact Wellington police on (04) 472 3000 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 274 637.


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