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Rape victims tells of her ordeal

PUBLISHED: 13:35 18 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

A TEENAGE rape victim today told how she is haunted by her ordeal as she made an emotional appeal to find her attacker.

The 19-year-old clubber bravely told a packed press conference: "I hated myself then and I still feel dirty now.

A TEENAGE rape victim today told how she is haunted by her ordeal as she made an emotional appeal to find her attacker.

The 19-year-old clubber bravely told a packed press conference: "I hated myself then and I still feel dirty now."

Her comments came in front of the gathered media at Suffolk Police headquarters at Martlesham Heath as renewed efforts are made to track down her attacker who struck when she left Kartouche nightclub in Ipswich in July. The case is also to be featured on BBC's Crimewatch UK programme on Thursday at 9pm.

Tearfully reliving the ordeal, the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, paused to collect her thoughts, before reliving her nightmare saying: "I find it hard to sleep at night."

She told how she has "lost her trust in people," and no longer goes out. "I just want to be how I used to be," she said.

The victim – who had only been to Ipswich once before – left the club in Princes Street at 12.20am on Saturday, July 28, after falling out with her friends.

She was sitting on a bench crying opposite the railway station, at the junction of Princes Street and Ranelagh Road, when the "polite and well spoken" rapist, posing as a good Samaritan, approached her and offered to help.

He then walked with her along Ranelagh Road, Birkfield Drive, then Stone Lodge Lane opposite the playing fields of Paul's Sports and Social Club, where he raped her.

Reading from a written statement at Suffolk Police Headquarters, the teenager, who comes from Colchester, said: "It is easy for people to sit there and say "she shouldn't have been so stupid, walking late at night with a stranger" and "it's her fault," but I want them to realise how scared I was.

"I was upset and in a town I didn't know. I had no money and just wanted to get home to my son and boyfriend. The attacker seemed kind, wanting to help me.

"So I rang my boyfriend and arranged to meet him. I felt if I walked with someone who knew the area I could get there quicker and safer.

"I keep asking myself why did I leave the club on my own? And why was I stupid enough to put my trust in a man that appeared to want to help me? I've also asked myself was it my fault for wearing the clothes that I wore.

"These are the things I ask myself every day. I hated myself then and I still feel dirty now. But I have to be strong for my son's sake. I still find it hard to sleep and I can't understand why this man did this to me.

"There are certain things that keep coming back to me. They tend to pop into my head when I am sleeping or when I start day-dreaming. That is his laugh. I remember him laughing at me.

"The main thing that he said is, 'It happens to everyone sooner or later'".

The man is described as white, in his early 20's, about 5ft 8ins to 5ft 9ins tall, of plump build with short "spiky" brown hair, clean shaven and wearing dark clothing.

She urged people who think they know someone who looks like her attacker to come forward.

"If you think you know someone, who it might be, but think it could not be them because they are too polite and friendly. I just want to say please phone anyway. My attacker was very polite and well spoken. That's why I felt I could trust him."

If you can help police with their investigations telephone the rape hotline on 01473 613999 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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