A MAN has been arrested in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old schoolgirl.
A 19-year-old man was held by Northumbria Police officers yesterday and was being questioned in relation with the attack, which happened on Tuesday, December 18.
The young girl was approached by her attacker at around 8.50pm as she walked along Elswick Road, in Newcastle’s West End.
The man threatened her with a 4in kitchen knife and marched her on to a grassed area between Park Close and Gloucester Terrace, where she was raped.
When her mum became concerned that her daughter, who she had expected home at 9.30pm, had not come back, she rang her mobile.
The horrified parent heard the rapist’s voice over the phone and called the police at 10.40pm.
After the attack the terrified teenager got into a taxi and asked to be taken home.
As she travelled, she telephoned her mum and said she had been robbed. But in a later conversation, the girl revealed she had been raped. The girl’s aunt, who did not wish to be named, said: “My sister is absolutely devastated.
“She just keeps blaming herself and feels so guilty. But she (the victim) was just walking to an event. She wasn’t drinking on the street like a lot of 15-year-olds do. She should have been safe.
“She is coping. But she doesn’t realise the severity of what’s happened to her because she’s only 15.”
Specially trained officers have been working with the victim since the attack. and police have since found the wooden- handled kitchen knife used by the rapist at the scene.
Det Chief Insp Gary Hetherington of Northumbria Police, who is leading the investigation, said: “Although most people will now be looking forward to a Christmas off work, our team will remain fully resourced and staffed until this crime is solved.
“This was a particularly nasty offence, all the more so because of how unusual it is. I would like to reassure the community that we have extra officers on patrol in the area and these will continue over the holidays.”