A DOUBLE rapist is being hunted after detectives linked two attacks on young women in Middlesbrough.

In the first incident a 19-year-old woman was picked up in a distressed state in the Tollesby Road area in Middlesbrough by a taxi driver in the early hours of Wednesday, August 8. She told police she had been raped at a nearby address.

Police received a further report of a rape from a 20-year-old woman at around 2.20am on Wednesday, October 17 in the area of Tollesby Road.

The victim had been on a night out with friends at The Keys nightspot on Linthorpe Road when she left the premises at about 1.20am.

She went onto Southfield Road where she was accompanied by a man who she spoke to before heading back in the direction of Linthorpe Road with him.

Chief Inspector Dave Lamplough, crime manager for Middlesbrough Police, said: “Our priority is to catch the person responsible for these terrible crimes as quickly as possible, but we need the public’s help.

“Perhaps you have been on a night out and seen a man acting suspiciously in or around a pub or club. He may even have been behaving normally - in conversation with the victims and have left with her, in a taxi or private motor vehicle.”

He added: “Finally, if you are using a taxi or mini-cab to get home, make sure it is properly licensed. The car should have a licence plate displayed on the back and the driver should have an identification badge.”