Detectives hoping for break in rape case

PUBLISHED: 07:16 21 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

DETECTIVES are hoping they had secured a major breakthrough in the hunt for a rapist who brutally assaulted a young woman after she left a Suffolk nightclub.

DETECTIVES are hoping they had secured a major breakthrough in the hunt for a rapist who brutally assaulted a young woman after she left a Suffolk nightclub.

They received more than 40 calls from the public following an appeal to millions of viewers of BBC'S Crimewatch UK.

A reconstruction of the attack was screened, and officers later received more than 30 names to investigate as part of the enquiry – three of which have been described as very significant.

The 19-year-old victim, who comes from the Colchester area, was attacked after leaving Kartouche nightclub in Princes Street, Ipswich, at about 12.20am on July 28.

During the programme, the victim told how her attacker had used the strange term: "Use my friend the field" when she said she needed to go to the toilet. He also told her that he was "helping nature" after the brutal attack.

After the appeal, more than 40 people phoned into the Crimewatch studios offering information. Of these, three people had combined the phrases used by the attacker together with the e-fit picture and offered a name to police.

Last night's programme came just days after the woman bravely spoke of her ordeal for the first time, and revealed how she was still haunted by what had happened.

"I can't describe how I felt at the time of the attack. I was in denial. I could not believe what was happening to me," she told reporters.

She had gone to Kartouche nightclub with her friends on the night of the attack, but decided to leave early after having an argument with them.

After leaving the nightclub, she had walked along Princess Street before sitting on a bench at the junction with Ranelagh Road, opposite Ipswich Railway Station.

The young woman, who had only been to Ipswich on one other occasion, was going to meet her boyfriend in Copdock when a man approached her and, posing as a Good Samaritan, offered to walk with her.

He then walked the woman along Ranelagh Road towards Rogers newsagents, before crossing the road, going under the railway bridge and walking up Birkfield Drive.

They then proceeded down Stone Lodge Lane onto a footpath near Pauls Sports and Social Club, where he subjected her to a horrific attack.

Detectives have made numerous appeals for information since the attack, and even took the unusual step of delivering hundreds of envelopes containing an e-fit picture of the attacker in the hope that someone would come forward.

The rapist is described as white, in his early 20s, 5ft 8in tall, of plump build, with short, spiky brown hair. He was also clean-shaven and was wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with information is urged to call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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