Wigan rape victim's race fears after attack

The victim of a rape at a Wigan beauty spot has taken an unusual step in a bid to catch her attackers.
Police were called after the woman was raped at Amberswood nature reserve on Sunday afternoonPolice were called after the woman was raped at Amberswood nature reserve on Sunday afternoon
Police were called after the woman was raped at Amberswood nature reserve on Sunday afternoon

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, contacted the Post to provide descriptions of the men.

The horrific sex attack took place on Sunday afternoon at Amberswood nature reserve in Hindley.

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She was walking along a path in a wooded area when she was followed by two men.

As she turned a corner, two other men were standing in front of her.

The woman, who is in her 20s, was then raped.

The victim was concerned that following reports of the incident, people were assuming the men were not British and it was stirring up racial hatred.

A far-right activist commented on the incident on Twitter, noting that a police appeal had not contained descriptions of the men.

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This led to a number of comments being made on social media which suggested that officers were trying to cover up the fact that the assailants must be from ethnic minorities.

But police say it was simply because a full description was not available earlier in the week, when they released their initial appeals.

And both they and the victim themselves have now told the Post that the assailants were all white. They were aged between 18 and 30 and at least two of the men were of slim build.

The woman did not want to discuss her ordeal further.

But police are continuing to investigate and are still appealing for information about the attack, which happened at around 2.15pm. They believe a drone flying in the area at the time may hold vital information and have appealed for its owner to come forward.

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Det Insp Rick Thompson, from Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan division, said: “I appreciate this is a remote area of land but it is a place where a lot of people go for a walk or take their dogs and we know that there were people in the park at the time.

“We are particularly interested in speaking to a member of the public who was believed to be flying a drone around the time of the incident and may have inadvertently captured some footage that could help us.

“We would also like to speak to a person who was wearing a white-coloured coat and two people who were walking a dog.

“These people may hold key information and I want to urge them to please contact us as soon as they can.

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“If anybody else believes they may have seen or heard something, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be, please call us.”

Police said the victim was being supported by specially trained officers.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7225 or 101, quoting reference 1241 of February 18.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.