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Can newspaper deliver new hope in the hunt for rapist?

A Hertfordshire weekly has stepped in to help in the nationwide manhunt for a serial sex attacker.

The ‘Trophy Rapist’ is believed to have carried out ten sex attacks across the South East over the past 11 months, and now The Comet is hoping it can help catch the man responsible.

In a bid to jog the memories of potential witnesses, the free newspaper is to distribute A4 leaflets to 31,000 homes, providing a description of the attacker and giving safety advice to women and girls.

Darren Isted, editor of The Comet and sister paper the Stevenage Herald, said: “This crime has struck a chord in Comet country and with the rapist currently linked to nine other horrific attacks in the south-east there is a real determination to catch him.

“By using the Comet’s expertise in this area we are hopeful that memories can be jogged and witnesses can come forward who will help to stop this catalogue of terrible attacks.”

Chief inspector Tim Stevens, who is leading the inquiry in Hertfordshire said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary would like to express its thanks to the Comet for its support in the distribution of advice and information leaflets to their readers in Stevenage.

“The response to the incident has clearly shown the the media play an important role in providing information to the public.”

  • Detectives have also turned to the Bracknell News in their hunt for the rapist, and are studying old copies of the newspaper in the hope of discovering if the same man first struck 22 years ago.

    Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
    e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk