Is the Somerset gimp BACK?: Fears of latex-clad hunter who terrorized the village two years ago have returned as locals see a ‘masked man’ and report ‘weird things are happening’
- ‘Masked man’ was seen through their window at midnight spying on a couple
- Incident occurred in the village of Claverham, Somerset, on 1 September at 12:15 am
- But ‘flipping’ residents fear the latest sighting means ‘gimp man’ has returned
A ‘masked man’ was seen in Somerset at midnight spying on a couple through their window.
Due to the last reported incident, local residents are afraid that the latex-clad gimp that terrorized 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 at 12:15 am on 1 September but were unable to locate the man.
Since November 2018, there have been more than 14 reports of a person in disguise approaching people in the village at night.
A ‘masked man’ was spotted through their window at midnight on September 1 in the village of Claverham, Somerset, as locals fear the ‘gimp man’ has returned (photo of the man taken by a victim in July 2019)
After a police investigation in 2019 with helicopters and sniffer dogs, two men, aged 28 and 34, were arrested on suspicion of sexual offences.
However, due to insufficient evidence, they were 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 crotch allegedly approached a young woman on the street.
Officers said they were open to whether the latest reported incident and the July 2019 incident are related.
But one woman, who declined to be named, told the BBC: ‘I have older children and even my kids say ‘it’s the gimp man again’.
“They were really shocked.
“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 recently reported “weird things happening” in the village.
“I don’t mind walking around alone, but it drives my kids crazy and I want them to feel safer,” she added.
With the latest reported sighting, ‘flipping’ residents fear it means the ‘gimp man’ has returned and a group has been formed for people to patrol Claverham in teams
Since November 2018, there have been 14 reports of a person in disguise approaching people at night in the village, although no one has been charged (photo, July 2019)
A group has now been set up where people can walk in teams through Claverham, and members said it did not encourage people to put themselves at risk, but hoped to support neighbors and raise awareness.
A previous victim, Abi, 25, when hearing about the latest sighting, said: “My heart felt like I was running a marathon, [there was] an immediate sense of panic, fear and anger that took me over a year of private counseling and medication to get under control.
“If I’m not worried at home, I am worried at work because my wife is at home and so are many other women.”
Describing her attack, she said the man was completely covered in the suit and “came up to me and touched his crotch, growling and breathing heavily.”
A police spokesman told the BBC that patrols in the Claverham area have been ramped up since September 1.
Anyone with information or dashcam or doorbell camera footage of a man in Claverham on Wednesday 1 September wearing a so-called full face mask is asked to contact police.