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Middlesbrough: Man ‘pushed to ground and raped’ near nature reserve

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The male victim said he was attacked on a footpath near Maze Park nature reserve in Middlesbrough (Picture: John Yeadon)

A man in his 40s has reported being pushed to the ground and raped near a nature reserve.

Police launched an investigation following the alleged sex attack on the walkway known as the black path running from Tees Barrage to Newport bridge in Middlesbrough.

The male victim told officers he was walking along the path near Maze Park nature reserve at around 7.30pm on Thursday, when he was approached by a man, pushed to the ground and raped.

The suspect is described as black, in his late 30s, around 5ft 10ins tall, stocky, with short, black hair and a prominent gap between his upper front teeth.

He was clean shaven and spoke English but was not fluent. He was also wearing dark clothing.

Officers believe two women may have been in the area around Newport Bridge and saw a distressed male at the time.

The women are urged to come forward as they may have information that could assist the investigation.

They are both in their 30s, with one having blonde, curly hair.

Detective Sergeant Iain Pearson said: ‘We are investigating a report of rape which happened around 7.30pm on the black path running from Tees Barrage to Newport Bridge, near to Maze Park Nature Reserve.

‘All reports of rape are taken extremely seriously. Specially trained officers are supporting the victim and we are following up a number of lines of inquiry.

‘Neighbourhood officers will have a high-visibility presence in the area for reassurance and anyone with concerns can approach those officers and speak with them.’

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