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Woman tells of rape threat on train

PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

DETERMINED to bring her predators to justice a woman threatened with rape on a Suffolk train today spoke of her ordeal.

The 28-year-old gave an account of her harrowing journey from Felixstowe to Ipswich during which she was subjected to a 20-minute torrent of abuse, threats and the fear of being sexually assaulted.

DETERMINED to bring her predators to justice a woman threatened with rape on a Suffolk train today spoke of her ordeal.

The 28-year-old gave an account of her harrowing journey from Felixstowe to Ipswich during which she was subjected to a 20-minute torrent of abuse, threats and the fear of being sexually assaulted.

Her hope is that reliving her terror publicly will encourage vital witnesses to come forward who can help identify the three men terrorised her.

Travelling alone the victim's nightmare began when she arrived at Felixstowe railway station after a day in the town.

"I went through a white gate where there is a shelter and that's when I saw three men aged between 18 and 25 sitting in the shelter," she said.

"As I walked by, one of them asked me to sit next to them but I walked past. He came up to me and started trying to talk to me. I didn't like the attention because there was no one else around."

When she sat down after boarding the single carriage train the men began showering the woman with abuse.

"They were getting quite leery and were commenting on my clothing and breasts," she said. "It was soon after that they got violently abusive mentioning attacking me during the journey and raping me. I felt extremely scared.

"This went on during the whole journey. The one who was doing most of the abusing asked for a cigarette. I said nothing and they get even more abusive. The one behind me punched my chair about five times."

The fear escalated as the men then began talking about following her as she walked home when she got off the train.

"When the punches started I snapped and knew it was serious, " she said. "I felt very confused because I did not know what to do and I was thinking how I was going to get home. I felt so vulnerable."

Unable to take any more the woman left her seat and walked to the end of the train passing three teenage boys who had got on with their bikes.

These youths were not connected with the yobs hurling obscenities.

When the woman found the conductor in his compartment she told him she was being pestered. Not realising the extent of the abuse he told her to stay out of sight with him.

When she did not return to her seat the yobs were heard asking the teenagers on the train where she was and if they knew where she was getting off.

After arriving in Ipswich she said the conductor was so concerned for her safety he took her to her home by car to elude her abusers.

"I was very, very shaky and scared," said the woman. "I broke down to mum when I got home.

"This has made feel vulnerable and scared but I have come forward because I want them to be caught for my own safety and for the safety of other women. My instinct tells me they would have raped me because of the way they were talking."

Detective constable Alan Reed of the British Transport Police praised the woman for reliving her ordeal. He also stressed the incident was a very unusual occurrence and that people should not be worried about travelling on trains.

"She has been brave to come forward," he said. "She was in fear of being attacked and we are treating this very seriously.

"We are keen to hear from the three lads with bikes. We urge them to contact us. They were clearly concerned for the victim and would like to speak to them."

The attack happened last Wednesday on the 7.55pm train from Felixstowe.

Dc Reed said the three suspects were white and aged in their late teens or early 20s.

One was wearing a white baseball cap, a dark top and white trousers. A second man had a dark baseball cap, a light top and dark trousers, while the third was dark-haired and wearing a dark top and blue tracksuit trousers.

Anyone who can help should telephone Dc Reed on 01473 601978 or freephone 0800 405040. Alternatively ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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