Ipswich: Man charged with 1987 rape of woman in her own home

IPSWICH: A 51-year-old man is due to appear before Ipswich magistrates tomorrow to face a charge of raping a young woman nearly 24 years ago.

Although police have not named the accused, who faces two sex assault charges, he is understood to be Phil Collins, of no fixed address.

Collins is also accused of indecently assaulting the same woman at her home.

A manhunt began after a 29-year-old victim said a attacker subjected her to a terrifying sex attack.

The alleged assault occurred after a rapist broke into her home in Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, around 8.50pm on March 2, 1987.

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The woman was alone at the time of the break-in.

During the early stages of their inquiry detectives revealed that the perpetrator left behind a pair of gloves at the scene.

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They were described as blue/grey in colour, woollen, and with holes in the middle finger of the left hand, and the thumb of the right hand.

The gloves also had distinctive areas because they had been repaired with lighter coloured wool that was darned into several fingers.

Police also stated they had found a pair of blue-grey ribbed ladies tights outside the alleged victim’s home.

Despite a wide-ranging investigation, and various public appeals in the media, no one was ever been convicted of the attack.

Nishan Wijeratne, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary confirmed an arrest had been made in connection with the 1987 assault.

Mr Wijeratne said: “A man is due to appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, February 9, in connection with the rape of a woman more than 20 years ago.

“The 51-year-old man, of no fixed address, will face two charges – one count of rape and one count of indecent assault. Both charges relate to the sexual assaults on a 29-year-old woman from Ipswich on Monday, March 2, 1987.

“A man was arrested by detectives from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team on Tuesday, December 21.

“He has subsequently been summonsed to appear in court.”

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