Bail cancelled as rape hunt continues

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POLICE investigating the violent rape of a teenage girl have cancelled the bail of three men they arrested without bringing any charges.

The 17-year-old was out walking alone at about 11pm on Friday, January 14 when she was attacked near the playing fields off Harrow Lane.

She was punched in the face and pinned down by one man while his accomplice raped her, and it was the third time in less than a year sex attackers had targeted teenage girls in Hastings and St Leonards.

Police launched a major investigation and two-and-a-half weeks after the incident, they arrested three local men, two aged 20 and one aged 25.

All three were bailed but this week the former suspects were told that had been cancelled and they did not need to report back to meet officers station later this month.

Nobody has been charged and the Observer understands the men will make an official complaint to the force over the way the case was handled, but a spokesman for Sussex Police said no complaint has yet been received.

Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles of the Sussex Police major crime branch said: “This remains an active enquiry and we are currently following up a number of leads.” Anyone with information is urged to contact the police on 0845 6070999 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.