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Riddle Of Sex Attacks

POLICE are not ruling out a link between a sexual assault on an elderly woman in Devonport at the weekend and the unsolved rape of an 87-year-old woman in the same street less than a year ago.
Insp Matthew McCreadie of Devonport said yesterday there was as yet no evidence linking the crimes, both committed in Archer St, but it was too early to dismiss a connection.
DNA evidence from the crime scene could provide a breakthrough, with test results expected this week.
Insp McCreadie said fingerprints could also be of assistance in tracking down the attacker's identity.
Police yesterday released pictures of tools found at the scene of the recent attack, where the victim was woken about 4am Saturday and sexually assaulted after the offender broke into her house.
Insp McCreadie said police wanted to know if anyone recognised the tools and whether they were stolen.
The tools included a boxed set of small screwdrivers, a larger screwdriver, a pocket knife and a pair of tin snips.
The offender is described as a man in his late teens or early 20s, wearing a light-coloured top and baseball cap.
It is understood the victim is recovering and suffered minor injuries in the attack.
Meanwhile, the man wrongly charged with last year's Archer St rape said he was convinced the same person was responsible for the latest attack.
Peter Wisniewski, 43, spent several days in custody after being charged with the crime, but was cleared through DNA evidence.
Mr Wisniewski said the incorrect charge, for which he had never received a formal apology, had devastated him and the latest assault had caused him more worry.
"After I saw [news of the crime] on TV, I couldn't sleep Sunday night. I was just waiting for them [the police] to come and get me," he said.
"I didn't do the last crime but that didn't stop me from being charged, so I just couldn't help but worry."
Mr Wisniewski said he was sure the attacks were perpetrated by the same man.
"They happened in the same street, not even a year apart," he said.
"I just wish the police would get whoever's done this."
Mr Wisniewski, a gardener, said he was still angry about last year and believed some people still considered him a suspect, even though he was cleared.
Fifteen police have been assigned to the case and ask anyone who saw a loiterer on Archer or Forbes St early on Saturday to contact Devonport CIB or Crimestoppers-1800 333 000.

The Mercury (7-6-2005)
Rohan Wade


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