Five arrested after Hastings town centre rape

Image released by Hastings Police in connection with rape investigation
Image released by Hastings Police in connection with rape investigation

POLICE have been hunting for the two men in this CCTV image in connection with the rape of a young woman who was enjoying a night out in the town centre.

The victim was taken into a flat and assaulted while her partner searched for her in the early hours of Saturday morning (July 23).

On Monday evening police arrested five men aged 18, 20, 24, 27 and 37, all from St Leonards. All have been bailed until August 9.

Detectives are still seeking two more men who were seen in her company on Saturday morning, and have released this CCTV image of the men they want to identify.

The local woman, who is in her 20s, was enjoying a night out in town on Friday evening when she disappeared.

Her partner reported her as missing shortly before midnight.

Police found her just before 6am on Saturday in Stanley Road, and called an ambulance.

The victim had been to French’s wine bar, Robertson Street, before moving to nearby Walkers Cocktails, where she fell into conversation with two men.

She was taken to a flat where she was assaulted, and later taken in a car to Stanley Road, where she managed to raise the alarm by telephoning for help.

Detective Inspector Dave Wilkins called the assault ‘traumatic and shocking’.

He told the Observer: “We are viewing CCTV and making house-to-house enquiries in the area, but I am particularly interested in identifying and talking to the two men in the CCTV picture from Robertson Street.

“There were a lot of people about at this time on a busy weekend night.

“I am sure that many of them must have seen her and the men in the area.”

Anyone with information about the men or the incident is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting Operation Humid, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.