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Norwich pub landlord describes how he was woken by screams at time of alleged sex assault

PUBLISHED: 15:30 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:59 05 November 2018

Police at the former Lidl supermarket on Aylsham Road. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Police at the former Lidl supermarket on Aylsham Road. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Archant

A Norwich pub landlord has told how he woke up to sound of a woman “screaming and shouting” but had thought she was drunk and not the victim of a sexual assault.

The Windmill Pub, Aylsham Road. PIC: Steve Adams.The Windmill Pub, Aylsham Road. PIC: Steve Adams.

Police have launched investigations after reports women were sexually assaulted within just a few hours of each other on Sunday (November 4) morning at the former Lidl supermarket in Aylsham Road and in an area of Earlham Cemetery, off Dereham Road.

The attacks, which are not believed to be connected, happened at about 4am, when a woman in her 30s is said to have been attacked in the car park area of the former supermarket, and at about 6am when a woman, in her 20s, is said to have been sexually assaulted at the cemetery.

Andrew Pond, 51, landlord of the Windmill Pub on Aylsham Road, which is next door to the former Lidl supermarket site, said he had been woken up by noises early on Sunday morning, but did not realised what had happened.

He said: “I only heard one voice.

Police have taped off an area of Earlham Cemetery while they investigate a sexual assault. Picture: StaffPolice have taped off an area of Earlham Cemetery while they investigate a sexual assault. Picture: Staff

“I didn’t wake up until 4.05am. I heard a female voice. She was hollering and shouting and screaming.

“There was no screaming for help or anything like that, it was just hollering,

“I just thought it was a drunk person there.

“I thought it was someone drunk or on something.”

Mr Pond, who had been sleeping on the couch, kept an eye on the situation and about half an hour after the first commotion he said he saw a woman “stumbling about” before going out of sight.

It was only hours later that Mr Pond discovered police were investigating reports of a sexual assault.

He said: “I didn’t know it was a sexual assault. I feel sorry for the woman and now I wish I’d have woken up before.

“If I’d heard two voices, I would’ve gone down there but I could only hear one voice.”

Detective Inspector Chris Burgess, of Norwich CID, said: “We are in the early stages of these investigations with specialist officers continuing to support both victims.

“We do not believe the incidents are linked at this stage and I would urge any witnesses, or anyone who has any information to call police on 101.”

• Information about the Aylsham Road incident should go to DC Luke Soar while witnesses to the Earlham Cemetery assault should call DC Matt Cornwall.

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