In 1983 a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in Godalming. Her attacker was never found and the case remained unsolved.
Now, with the benefit of a cold case review and new advances in forensic science a DNA profile of the offender has been produced. Officers have re-opened the case and are now actively appealing for the public’s help to find the person responsible.
The incident happened around 4pm on Monday 20 June 1983 near Godalming Town Football Club and the Broadwater Park Golf Club car park in Godalming. The teenager was sitting on the grass reading when she was approached by a middle-aged man with a dog and sexually assaulted. After the attack, the man picked up his dog and calmly walked away towards the main A3100 Guildford to Godalming road.
At the time, the suspect was described as white, aged between 40-50 years-old and of slim build with a paunch. He was around 5ft 10” tall with light, greying hair and a moustache. He also had a short, cut beard. One memorable feature about the man was the fact that he had a dog with him, a terrier type, possibly Yorkshire terrier, which he carried under his arm. An e-fit of the suspect was completed during the original investigation and circulated but did not produce any leads.
Detective Chief Inspector Jo Hayes who is leading the investigation said:
“Although many years have passed since this crime was committed we are hoping that local residents will be able to help us with this investigation so that we can finally catch the person responsible and bring him to justice. Due to the advances in forensic science we now have a DNA profile of the offender so any name given to us can be easily checked and eliminated.
“We are hoping that someone might be able to remember perhaps a neighbour, colleague, friend or relative who used to walk around with a terrier type dog back in 1983 and who fits the description given. We are also looking to trace an older woman who the victim remembers seeing in the area after the event and might have witnessed what happened. The teenage girl suffered a terrifying ordeal that day in June 1983 and we owe it to her to find the person responsible.
“I would also like to add that since this offence occurred, relations between the offender and their friends or relatives may have broken down, and someone who was not in a position at the time of the assault to provide information, may be able to do so now. If this is you, please contact us and we will treat your information in the strictest of confidence.”
Anyone who might have information should contact Surrey Police on 101 quoting Operation Fresco and reference number PR/45170055029.
For whatever reason, sometimes people may wish to provide information anonymously and this can be done through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Unsolved cases are regularly reviewed to see if any new forensic opportunities exist which could progress an investigation. By subjecting forensic materials to more sophisticated DNA profiling techniques it has now been possible to create a full DNA profile of the offender in this case.