Is the Somerset gimp BACK?: Fears latex-clad prowler who terrorised village two years ago has returned as locals spot a ‘masked man’ and report ‘weird things happening’
- ‘Masked man’ was spotted spying on a couple through their window at midnight
- Incident happened in the village of Claverham, Somerset, on Sept 1 at 00.15am
- But ‘freaked out’ residents fear latest sighting means ‘gimp man’ has returned
A ‘masked man’ was spotted spying on a couple through their window at midnight in Somerset, according to reports.
The latest reported incident has left local residents fearing that the latex-clad gimp who terrorised the nearby villages of Claverham and Yatton two years ago has returned.
Avon and Somerset Police were called to a house in the village of Claverham on September 1 at 00.15am but were ‘unable to locate the man’.
Since November 2018, there have been over 14 reports of a person dressed in disguises approaching people at night in the village.
A ‘masked man’ was spotted spying on a couple through their window at midnight in the village of Claverham, Somerset, on September 1, leaving locals fearing the ‘gimp man’ has returned (picture of the man taken by a victim in July 2019)
Following a police search in 2019, using helicopters and sniffer dogs, two men, aged 28 and 34, were arrested on suspicion of indecency offences.
However, due to insufficient evidence they were both later released without charge and no further action was taken against them.
The last reported incident was in July 2019, when a person in a black latex bodysuit and mask touching his groin reportedly approached a young woman on the streets.
Officers said they were keeping an open mind as to whether the latest reported incident and the July 2019 incident are linked.
But a woman, who asked not to be named, told the BBC: ‘I’ve got older children and even my kids are saying ‘it’s the gimp man again’.
‘They’re really freaked out by it.
‘But it could be anyone and I want to come from a practical point of view and do something to help people feel safer.’
She said people had reported ‘weird things happening’ recently in the village.
‘I’m not too bothered to walk around on my own but it freaks my children out and I want them to feel safer,’ she added.
With the latest reported sighting, ‘freaked out’ residents fear it means the ‘gimp man’ has returned and a group has been set up for people to patrol Claverham in teams
Since November 2018, there have been 14 reports of a person dressed in disguises approaching people at night in the village, though no one has been charged (pictured, July 2019)
A group has now been set up for people to walk around Claverham in teams, and its members said it was not encouraging people to put themselves in danger but hoped to support neighbours and encourage awareness.
One previous victim Abi, 25, said when she heard about the latest sighting: ‘My heart felt like I was running a marathon, [there was] an instant feeling of panic, anxiety and anger again which took me over a year of private counselling and medications to control.
‘If I’m not worrying at home, I’m worrying at work because my wife’s at home and so are many other women.’
Describing her attack she said the man was fully covered in the suit and was ‘coming towards me and was touching his groin, grunting and breathing heavy’.
A police spokesman told the BBC that patrols had been increased in the Claverham area since September 1.
Anyone with information or with dashcam or doorbell camera footage of a man in Claverham on Wednesday, September 1 wearing what has been described as a full face mask is asked to contact police.