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Cheltenham Town fans join hunt for sex attacker

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: April 29, 2013

By STEVEN IMPEY

  • Club steward Keith Walford hands out a leaflet to fan John Robson

  • APPEAL FOR HELP: Steward Steve Price, right, shows the appeal to help, inset, to Cheltenham fan Sally Zanettacci, second right, and her family

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FANS of Cheltenham Town have been asked to help in the hunt for a sexual predator following an attempted rape in February.

Around 4,500 leaflets featuring the suspect's portrait were distributed at the turnstiles after the final whistle of the Robins' home match with Bradford City on Saturday.

The man pictured is suspected of trying to rape a 22-year-old woman on the night following the home league win against Torquay United on February 2.

The assault happened near the Matalan store in Brunswick Street in Cheltenham town centre between 3.30am and 4am on February 3.

The victim was asked for directions by a man, who then pushed her, attempted to remove her clothes and sexually assaulted her before fleeing in the direction of St Margaret's Road.

Some of the fans who attended Saturday's match were not aware of the assault.

Sally Zanettacci, 50, who attended the match with her children, said: "It's frightening that someone like that is still on our streets. I wouldn't want to go out at that time in the morning – not at all. Hopefully this leaflet will jog somebody's memory."

Rachel Lewis, 29, who lives in the town centre, echoed Sally's concerns.

She said: "I think it's scary knowing someone is still out there. It's scary to think you could be on a night out in Cheltenham and he could be there."

Richard Baker, 53, of Battledown, said: "I wasn't aware that anything had happened. I'm shocked. There has been a lot of it [sexual assaults] going on – especially on the Promenade. I hope this leaflet helps the police catch him."

Cheltenham Town steward Steve Price was handing out leaflets following the match.

The 49-year-old said: "Most people have been taking a real interest in this, especially women.

"A lot of people come to our games so someone might recognise this person. Hopefully it will make people aware of the dangers."

Stewart Whittall, 63, of Bishop's Cleeve, added: "If it can help catch him, I think it's a brilliant idea. It's a dreadful thing to happen."

Full Robins coverage, P45-48

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  • Glos_Lad34  |  April 29 2013, 1:56PM

    I hope he gets caught and rots in jail for years to come.

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