BURY KNOWLE PARK RAPE: Residents tell of shock as two men arrested

Green Ridges resident Samantha Amin, with her one-year-old daughter Nadeemah in Bury Knowle Park

Green Ridges resident Samantha Amin, with her one-year-old daughter Nadeemah in Bury Knowle Park

First published in thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

RESIDENTS and park users last night spoke of their shock after a 20-year-old woman was raped close to an Oxford children’s playground.

Two men were last night being quizzed by police after the attack in Bury Knowle Park, Headington, at about 11pm on Tuesday.

Police were alerted by a member of the public who found the distressed victim in the park.

A 28-year-old man from Oxford and a 26-year-old man from Swindon were arrested on suspicion of rape in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Last night police had made no charges, but the pair were still in custody.

Police were due to speak to the victim yesterday afternoon.

Last night Roz Smith, Oxfordshire County Council member for Barton and Churchill, said: “It is dreadful news and I am sorry to hear it.

“It is shocking something like this has happened. Bury Knowle Park is by London Road which is busy. You have restaurants, pubs and the central shopping area, so a lot of residents use it as a short cut.

“I hope it doesn’t put people off using the park.”

Park visitors told of their horror after hearing about the incident.

Dog walker Dean Bennison, 26, of Northway, said: “It’s full of kids duringthe day and to think something like that could happen in an area like this is shameful.

“It’s not the kind of thing you would expect to happen in a place like this.”

Green Ridges resident Samantha Amin, 36, said: “It is just horrible.

“I suppose it could happen anywhere, but it’s worrying because it’s a park and it’s such a nice area.”

Caroline Berry, 52, of Barton Road, said: “I am really shocked. I walk through this park all the time. It’s so peaceful.

“It’s very much a family orientated park.

“You can feel quite safe here and get complacent until something like this happens.”

And York Road resident Gaya Guha, 33, said: “The community will be very shocked by this.

“Generally Headington is thought to be a quite a safe place, but that could be naive.”

Liz Brighouse, the area’s other county councillor, said she was horrified. She said: “It is dreadful to hear about this. It’s horrendous.

“There are very few people there overnight and it is a dark area.”

Det Insp Steve Raffield, from Oxford CID, said: “I am keen to hear from anyone who was in this area of Oxford around the time of the incident who may have information that could help us progress our investigation.”

Anyone with information should call Oxford police on 101 or contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555111.

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