Hope for new leads in rape case

MORE than 500 people were spoken to by detectives yesterday, as Suffolk Police carried out anniversary checks at Tesco in Brandon a week after the rape and abduction of a female from the car park there.

Laurence Cawley

MORE than 500 people were spoken to by detectives yesterday, as Suffolk Police carried out anniversary checks at Tesco in Brandon a week after the rape and abduction of a female from the car park there.

The 21-year-old victim was in the car park on London Road at around 2.15pm on June 14 when she was called over by a male asking for help with heavy bags.

She helped him load a blue holdall into a 4x4 vehicle - at this point she was threatened with a knife and pushed inside, and ordered to lie down.


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The offender then drove her to a remote location about 20 minutes away, where he raped her, before returning her to Wimbledon Avenue in Brandon later that afternoon.

The offender is described as white, in his late 50s or early 60s, around 5ft 3in tall, of medium build with a pot belly. He has bushy white/grey sideburns, with heavy grey facial hair and a ruddy complexion. He was wearing a red woolly hat, a red fleece, black tracksuit bottoms, trainers and glasses. He was generally dirty and smoked roll ups.

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The car is described as an older style dark coloured 4x4 with front seats only, a row of four blue spotlights on a bull bar at the front, and a rear door rather than a boot. It is believed the car was in Tesco's car park when the female arrived to go shopping.

Detectives spoke to shoppers at Tesco's supermarket and petrol station between 1pm and 4pm yesterday, handing out hundreds of leaflets and appealing for information. Sixty-five people completed questionnaires after speaking to the officers and these will be followed up as lines of enquiry next week.

Members of the Brandon Safer Neighbourhood Team were also staffing a police pod in the car park, giving advice and reassurance to members of the public as well as handing out personal alarms.

Detective Chief Inspector David Cutler is leading the investigation, and says yesterday's checks were extremely useful. “I am very pleased with how the anniversary checks went, and those people who potentially had information about last weekend's incident completed questionnaires which will be followed up by the Major Investigation Team.

“I am continuing to appeal for anyone with any information about this incident to come forward. Calls are regularly coming in to the incident room, but there may still be people who haven't contacted us who might recognise the location of the assault, or the offender and his distinctive car.

“If you think you may know anything which could assist this investigation, please call the incident room.

“I also want to hear from anyone who might have noticed the appearance of someone suddenly changing over the course of last week, or a vehicle's appearance altering. A vehicle may have always been present at a certain place, but has now gone missing. If you have noticed something out of the ordinary that cannot be accounted for, please contact us.”

The incident room can be contacted on 01473 613824 or by e-mail at incident.room@suffolk.pnn.police.uk . Calls can also be made to Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Additional high-visibility patrols will continue in Brandon. Appeal posters are on display around Brandon and at Forest Heath District Council offices and Brandon police station, where advice, information and personal alarms can be obtained.

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