Police appeal for help in hunt for kidnap rapist

POLICE hunting a rapist who abducted his victim from a supermarket car park before subjecting her to a terrifying three-hour ordeal have released more information about the sickening crime.

James Mortlock

POLICE hunting a rapist who abducted his victim from a supermarket car park before subjecting her to a terrifying three-hour ordeal have released more information about the sickening crime.

The sex attacker, who was in his 60s and of dirty appearance, had asked his young victim to help him load some bags into his car at the Tesco supermarket in Brandon.

But when the Good Samaritan agreed to help, she was bundled into a 4x4 car, driven off and raped. Hours later she was driven to an isolated industrial area and dumped.

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Detectives leading the investigation into Saturday's abduction and rape, which has sent shock waves through the Brandon community, this afternoon made fresh appeals for information.

A spokeswoman said the 21-year-old victim was in the car park on London Road at around 2.15pm on Saturday, and was called over by a male asking for help with heavy bags.

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“She helped him load a blue holdall into a 4x4 vehicle - at this point she was threatened and pushed inside. The offender then drove her to another location where he subjected her to a serious sexual assault, before returning her to Wimbledon Avenue in Brandon later that afternoon,” she said.

The rapist was white, in his late 50s or early 60s, around 5 ft 3 in tall, of medium build with a pot belly. He had bushy white or 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.

The car was a dirty, older style dark grey 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.

Det Ch Insp David Cutler, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was a frightening attack on a young woman who was simply being helpful to a man who appeared to be in need of assistance. Her ordeal must have been terrifying, and the victim is receiving any help she may need from specially trained officers.

“A team of around 20 officers is working on this case. We need to hear from anyone who was shopping at Tesco in Brandon, or anyone who was in or near the car park on London Road, between midday and 3pm on Saturday. The store and town centre would have been very busy, so if you saw or heard anything out of the ordinary, or a man asking for help or struggling with bags, please contact us as a matter of urgency.

“We also want to hear from anyone who may have seen a distressed woman, walking between Wimbledon Avenue and Manor Road, where she was able to raise the alarm, between 4.45pm and 5.30pm. She passed a number of people in the street and those people may be able to help us with our enquiries.

“The vehicle, and offender, are quite distinctive - if anyone may have any information I would urge them to call us immediately. We are also trying to establish where the victim was taken - it is described as about a 20 minute drive from Brandon, and consisted of a small isolated premises approached through a gate and then along a track. If this location sounds familiar please get in touch.

“During her ordeal the female was aware of gunshots somewhere close by - police would like to hear from anybody who would have been out shooting on Saturday afternoon.”

As part of the investigation an area of Tesco's car park was cordoned off and searched, and that cordon was lifted at 3.30pm yesterday. Forest Heath District Commander, Ch Insp Michael Holdsworth, said a high visibility police presence would continue in the area: “This type of crime is extremely rare in Brandon and indeed Suffolk as a whole.

“Additional officers will be on patrol in the town to provide help and reassurance, and anyone with any information or concerns about this incident are encouraged to speak to them.”

Police are appealing for anyone with any information to call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

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