Trio seized over teenager’s rape

POLICE investigating the sickening rape of a teenage girl have arrested three men.

The 17-year-old was punched in the face, held down and raped near the playing fields on Harrow Lane after she left her boyfriend’s house to get some air at about 11pm on Friday January 14.

Late on Tuesday officers arrested two St Leonards men - aged 25 and 20 - on suspicion of rape and they also arrested a 20-year-old on suspicion of rape and money laundering.

Yesterday detectives were given 36 more hours to quiz the 25-year-old and the 20-year-old arrested on two offences, while the other 20-year-old was bailed with an overnight curfew until March 24.

The attack on the Hailsham girl was the third time a teenager had been targeted by sex attackers in just nine months, following the rape of an 18-year-old near Warrior Square station in April and the attempted rape of a 17-year-old in the Old Town during the summer. Nobody has ever been charged for these attacks but police do not believe they are linked.

Sussex Police would still like to hear from anyone who may have information about the most recent incident - they can be contacted on 0845 6070999 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.