Police investigating alleged rape of teenager

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched by police after a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped during a post-exam party attended by more than 100 teenagers.

The girl was found in a distressed state on Hardwick Heath, in Bury St Edmunds, shortly after 10pm on Friday night.

She was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury, and a police spokesman confirmed yesterday that following their investigations it was believed the 15-year-old was raped by a male between 8pm and the time she was found.

The spokesman said: “It is known about 100 young people were gathered on the heath between 8pm and 11pm on Friday night and police need to speak to them and anyone else who was in the area between these times to gather a full picture of what happened.”

A police patrol received a report of a distressed girl in the area at about 10pm. Officers found her near Hardwick Gardens soon after and took her to hospital.

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Hardwick Heath, an area of parkland behind West Suffolk Hopsital off Hardwick Lane, has become a popular place for schoolchildren in the town to head to each year after they have completed their GCSEs.

On Friday night, police say more than 100 youngsters had gathered on the heath where the alleged rape took place.

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People living nearby say they have grown used to the unofficial annual event taking place in the park.

One resident said: “Every year they gather after the exams are over and it has turned into a celebration for finishing school for the summer.

“It can get a bit loud, but on the whole they are just out to enjoy themselves and I haven’t heard of any trouble before.”

Police are urging anyone who was on the heath on the night of the incident, or anyone living nearby who might have further information, to contact Bury CID as soon as possible on 01473 613500.

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