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Vicious attack leaves Nelson woman in hospital

Vicious attack leaves Nelson woman in hospital

A police investigation is under way following a vicious attack on a 62 year old woman in the Victory area of Nelson yesterday afternoon.

The woman was working alone in a shade house at the Victory community gardens about 2.30pm when she was seriously beaten and sexually assaulted by a man in his 20s.

The woman remains in hospital with substantial head and facial injuries, along with other lacerations and bruising to her body. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge of the Nelson CIB said Police had serious concerns about the behaviour of the offender and what he may be capable of and were seeking help from the public to identify him.

"This has been a cowardly and prolonged attack on an older woman. While I am confident we will identify the offender, I must urge people in the Victory area to take precautions about their personal safety until we have that person in custody," he said.

"This man clearly has issues that need to be addressed urgently. He is a risk to himself and the wider community and I strongly encourage him to hand himself in," Detective Sergeant Langridge said.

The offender is described as a dark skinned male, possibly Maori or Polynesian, in his early 20s with short hair and very distinctive tattoos. His left arm is fully tattooed from the shoulder to the wrist in a Maori or tribal design. His right arm is also tattooed from the shoulder to the elbow in what is believed to be a Maori or tribal design.

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of the Victory Community Gardens about 2.30pm yesterday and who has seen anything that may be relevant to this investigation.

Police would also like to hear from anyone who has information about who the offender may be.

Today Police will be completing the scene examination with ESR scientists and conducting a door to door area canvas of houses in the vicinity to speak to possible witnesses and identify the offender.

If you have any information please call Nelson Police, Ph 546 3840. Anonymous information can be given by calling Crimestoppers, Ph 0800 555. 111.

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