Ipswich rape did not happen

A WOMAN who sparked a high profile police investigation when she claimed to have been raped by a masked attacker in her own home has today admitted the allegations were false.

By JO MACDONALD

joanne.macdonald@eveningstar.co.uk

A WOMAN who sparked a high profile police investigation when she claimed to have been raped by a masked attacker in her own home has today admitted the allegations were false.

The 20-year-old woman alerted officers to an attack at her Chantry home in Ipswich on May 24. She alleged that she had opened the door to a man wearing a balaclava who forced his way into her home and raped her.

An incident team was immediately put together to investigate the attack and officers made house to house enquiries in the Pelican Close/Bittern Close area of the estate gathering as much information as possible to help in their hunt for the rapist.

A week after the attack, uniformed officers spoke to motorists and pedestrians in the hope someone would offer a new lead.

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Frequent media appeals were made to keep the investigation in the public eye and the Evening Star offered a reward of £1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the attacker in a bid to encourage people to come forward with information.

In total, officers interviewed more than 200 people in their effort to find the vital witness or piece of evidence that would lead them to the rapist.

A photofit of the masked man was also released to try and spark people's memories of the day but information was not forthcoming.

In the meantime people living in the area of the alleged attack were left concerned that the rapist would strike again.

However, the woman has admitted to police that the attack never happened and officers are now working with appropriate organisations to ensure that she receives ongoing support and care.

Police would not comment on whether the woman would be charged with any offence following the six-week investigation which involved hundreds of hours of work and is believed to have cost thousands of pounds.

They are, however, keen to remind people that 'stranger rape' is a rare crime and people should feel safe both at home and when out in the county, although sensible precautions should always be taken.

Personal safety leaflets are available from all police stations.

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