ONE woman was raped in the toilet of a popular nightclub and another sexually assaulted in the same venue at the weekend, police say.

An investigation has been launched after two women separately reported being attacked at Spensley’s Emporium, a club on Albert Road in Middlesbrough.

One victim said she was sexually assaulted by a man who approached her as she sat on a sofa outside the toilets at the venue between 3am and 3.30am on Saturday, December 30.

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Officers are linking the assault to a rape that is said to have taken place in the women’s toilets between 3am and 3.30am on New Year’s Eve. Both attacks involved women in their early 20s.

The suspect is a man described as being in his early 30s with a local accent, dark hair and dark eyes and of Middle Eastern appearance, with hair shorter around the sides than the top.

He is said to be of medium build and wearing a light coloured shirt and dark, skinny-fitting jeans.

The attacks, which involved two women in their early 20s, were described as horrific by Detective Sergeant Darren Wild.

Appealing for anyone with information to come forward, he said: ““These incidents have been horrific for the victims to have gone through, and both are receiving specialist support from our partner agencies.

“We are carrying out a number of enquiries to try to identify the person responsible. I would like to appeal to anyone who may have been in the club in the early hours of Saturday or Sunday, who have may have seen the man described behaving suspiciously or know who he is.”

Anyone with information regarding either incident or information regarding the person responsible is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Darren Wild from Middlesbrough Operational Crime Team on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.