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Slow response to hunt for rapist

PUBLISHED: 16:44 14 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

P3 secondary pic/story

NOTE: Please use CCTV pic again which captures rapist, victim and the two men mentioned in story below.

By Lisa Baxter

Crime reporter

lisa.baxter@ecng.co.uk

TWO late-night walkers could hold the vital clue needed to identify a rapist who lured his teenage victim to a remote Ipswich lane and brutally attacked her, a detective said today.

Police hunting the sex attacker who befriended his 19-year-old victim near Ipswich railway station in the early hours of July 28 before raping her, said they have had a slow response to CCTV footage of the pair released before the weekend.

And the two men captured on camera walking just yards away from the rapist and his victim on Ranelagh Road have still not contacted police.

"What's particularly disappointing is we still haven't identified the two men seen walking in the same direction as the victim and the rapist," said Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert, the man leading the rape inquiry.

"It's vital that these men come forward. They will have seen the victim with the attacker and they could have important information."

The two men pictured would have been only yards away from the rapist and his victim who police believe passers-by may have mistaken for a couple. They were walking in the same direction down Ranelagh Road and towards Rogers Newsagents at around 12.40am on Saturday, July 28.

The rapist befriended the teenaged girl, who comes from the Colchester area, on a bench near the station after she left Kartouche nightclub at around 12.30am.

He offered to help her find the Copdock interchange where she had arranged to be collected by her boyfriend but instead lured her up Birkfield Drive, into Stone Lodge Lane and onto an isolated path near Paul's Sports and Social Club where he raped her.

The rapist was white, in his early 20s, around 5ft 8ins tall, of plump build with short spiky brown hair.

He appeared to have a good knowledge of the Ipswich area. He was wearing a blue shirt, dark trousers and was clean shaven.

A £2,500 bounty has been offered by the Evening Star and PJ Print (Anglia) Ltd for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the rapist.

Det Supt Lambert said he remained confident the rapist would be caught.

If you think you could be one of the two men in the CCTV image, where in the area at the time of the attack or could have information about the rape, contact the rape incident room on 01473 613999, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or email: incident.room@suffolk.police.uk

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