New appeal one year after rail station rape

CCTV still from St Leonards Warrior Square station
CCTV still from St Leonards Warrior Square station

POLICE have launched a fresh appeal for information a year after a teenager was raped near St Leonards Warrior Square train station.

The 18-year-old was attacked at about 4am on the path between the station and London Road, St Leonards, after a night out with friends. A 29-year-old man was arrested but was later released without charge.

CCTV still from St Leonards Warrior Square station

CCTV still from St Leonards Warrior Square station

Twelve months on, detectives from the British Transport Police (BTP) are asking people to rack their brains in case they may have seen anything unusual in the early hours of April 11 last year. They have re-released CCTV footage taken near the station and are desperate to trace a man shown talking to the victim in the pictures. They believe the attacker ran away along London Road and possibly turned into Silchester Road.

There is still a £5,000 reward for anyone who comes forward with information that leads to a conviction and Detective Chief Inspector Simon Jones of the BTP said: “This young woman has gone through an ordeal that has had a profound effect on both her and her family. Our commitment to her continues and we remain determined to bring the person responsible to justice.

“Now, 12 months on, we are renewing our appeal for information. The man in the CCTV images has yet to be identified and we are re-releasing the footage in the hope that someone can shed light on his identity and his current whereabouts.”

The victim, who was from Kent, was left badly shaken and DCI Jones is urging people to help catch the man who attacked her.

He said: “Please look carefully at the images: do you know the man? Do you recognise him? Were you in St Leonards Warrior Square and remember seeing him? If you recognise him, or are the man himself, we’d like you to come forward and talk to us.”

The Warrior Square rape was the first of three attacks on teenage girls in Hastings and St Leonards in the space of just nine months. In August there was an attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl near the public toilets in Old London Road, and in January a 17-year-old was punched in the face before she was pinned down and raped by two men near the playing fields off Harrow Lane. No charges have been brought in either case, but police have moved to reassure locals that the incidents are not linked.

Anyone with any information about the Warrior Square attack should contact the BTP on 0800 405040 Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.