Rape hunt stepped up

DETECTIVES were today hunting a brutal rapist who allegedly attacked a teenage girl in a field next to a Suffolk high school.The 16-year-old victim, who is said to be in a "deep state of shock", was raped at the field near Thurleston High School, in Defoe Road, Ipswich, after a night out with friends.

DETECTIVES were today hunting a brutal rapist who allegedly attacked a teenage girl in a field next to a Suffolk high school.

The 16-year-old victim, who is said to be in a "deep state of shock", was raped at the field near Thurleston High School, in Defoe Road, Ipswich, after a night out with friends.

Police have described the sex assault as "despicable", and said it was vital the man responsible was caught as soon as possible.

The victim had been part of a large group who had gathered at the spot on Friday night. The teenager returned there later that evening after realising she had lost her mobile phone.


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It is believed she had been drinking and, while looking for the phone, had laid down on the field because she was feeling unwell.

Police said the girl became aware of a man touching her shortly afterwards and was then raped.

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Her attacker left and the girl made her way home, where she told her mother she had been sexually assaulted. The police were called at 11.45pm that night.

A formal statement was taken from the victim over the weekend. Specialist search teams also scoured the area over the weekend for clues in their investigation.

However neighbours said that they had cleared some of the mess left on the field before police arrived - leaving officers to search through their dustbins in the search for clues.

One neighbour said there had been many teenagers on the playing field throughout the evening.

The resident, who declined to be named, said: "They were shouting and making a lot of noise, they made an awful lot of noise.

"On Saturday morning I saw cans all over the place and there was an empty vodka bottle I put in my bin.

"When the police came round during the afternoon I told them about that and they took it away for tests."

He said the police had asked about the noise from the field.

"They wanted to know if we had heard a girl screaming at any stage. I told them there had been a lot of girls shouting but I couldn't distinctly hear a single girl screaming.

"But there was a car driving up and down here at about 11.30 at night - I told them about that."

He said the playing fields were often used as a meeting point for youngsters, especially during the summer.

"During the summer there's a lot of noise there at night, and that seemed to start on Friday night.

"I don't know how many there were but it was quite a large group and they were clearly drinking quite a bit," he said.

Detective Chief Inspector John Quinton, who is leading the investigation, appealed for anyone with information about the crime to come forward.

He said: "This was a despicable attack on a young, vulnerable girl. It is important we find this man as soon as possible."

Anyone in the area on Friday night or who has any information about this incident should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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