Police rule out link to third rape

DETECTIVES quizzing a man suspected of rapes dating back 19 and 23 years today said he was not being linked to a third similar attack.

DETECTIVES quizzing a man suspected of rapes dating back 19 and 23 years today said he was not being linked to a third similar attack.

The 50-year-old suspect was arrested just before 5am yesterday in the Gipping Ward area of Ipswich.

Although he was questioned at Ipswich police station yesterday about attacks on two women in September 1986 and January 1990, he is not suspected of another rape in Burrell Road, Ipswich, in July 1986.

Louise Rosher, a spokeswoman for Ipswich police said: “There is no evidence to link the suspect to the Burrell Road attack.”

Officers arrested the suspect just before 5am yesterday morning.

Although the exact location where the arrest was made was not revealed, it is believed it was on the outskirts of the town centre in the Gipping Ward.

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Both attacks the man is suspected of were given widespread publicity at the time.

The Gippeswyk Park rape occurred in January 1990 when a 17-year-old female was threatened with a knife by a masked man and then dragged behind secluded changing rooms, before being sexually assaulted.

The first attack had taken place in September 1986 on a 41-year-old woman near woodland at Chesterton Close as she walked home from work around 1am.

In July of the same year a woman in her 20s was raped after being grabbed from behind and forced into a yard behind Station Garage in Burrell Road.

The rapist or rapists were never caught, although in 1990 police said they were investigating a possible link between all three attacks.

However, this now appears not to be the case.

The investigations are under the control of Suffolk Police's major investigation team. The team also double up as Suffolk's cold case unit.

Officers stress that outstanding historic cases are never closed. They are periodically reviewed and any new leads rigorously followed up.

Last year police were known to be reviewing the January 1990 attack, the investigation for which was codenamed Operation Atrium.