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Halloween rape investigation: one month on...

Halloween rape investigation: one month on...

Saturday 30 November 2019

Halloween rape investigation: one month on...


Police have identified 23 'persons of interest' and are following 260 lines of inquiry as their investigation into the rape of a teenage girl at a Gorey bus stop on Halloween reaches its one month milestone.

Named Operation Hectare, the investigation started on 1 November after a teen reported being assaulted in the early hours of that morning at the bus shelter next to Longbeach car park on La Rue à Don in Grouville.

Now a month on, the police have revealed they are looking at 23 ‘Persons of interest’ and exploring over 260 lines of enquiry.

The ongoing investigation has seen them visit a total of 300 houses and premises, speaking to islanders in 275 of them. 

This week alone, they have also answered over 15 calls from the public. 

The attack took place in a 13-minute window between 12:00 and 12:13 early on the morning on Friday 1st November. The teenage victim had been at a Halloween party in Gorey, before leaving to go home, and arranged to meet her mum at the bus stop.

Rape_e-fit.jpg

Pictured: The 'e-fit' image issued by Police. 

The full description of the attacker is: around 5’9, with a big and strong build with thick brown hair and a short brown/grey beard. He was also said to be wearing a coat that was too big for him and a baseball cap, and spoke with what Police have described as a "foreign" accent.

The police issued an e-fit of the man earlier this month and the image was delivered by Jersey Post to all homes in the eastern parishes of St.Martin and Grouville.

The supposed timeline of events is as follows:

  • 11:30pm – The victim leaves a residential property in the area adjacent to Gorey Common on her own.
  • She slowly makes her way to the southbound Gorey bus stop but becomes disoriented around Gorey Common, primarily because of the low light combined with her lack of familiarity with that part of the Island.
  • The victim arrives at the bus stop by 11:53pm.  At this point she is identifiable on dashcam footage from a passing Liberty Bus. 
  • She is seen at the bus stop again at 12:06am when the same bus passes in the opposite direction.
  • Her mother collects her from the bus stop at 12:13am. 
  • In her time at the bus stop the attacker twice offers her a lift, which is declined on both occasions.  It is after the second offer that the attack takes place.

Video: A reconstruction of the series of events ahead of the rape.

A reconstruction took place just a week after the attack and a video was released, with the full support of the victim's family, in an attempt to help secure evidence.

A man was arrested on suspicion of rape on 8 November, before releasing him on 10 November

The police eventually revealed they believed he had nothing to do with the crime and Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull urged islanders to "reset" and focus on identifying the attacker, and helping Police work out why he was in Gorey so late on Halloween night.

"Remain focussed on the offender, why was he there? This was an opportunistic attack, the victim wasn't planning on being at the bus stop at that particular time, it was only agreed a few minutes before-hand as a rendez-vous point, where she would be collected by her mum," he said.

Rape Route Map

Pictured: The route followed by the victim the night of the attack.

Last week the police said they didn't have “any clear suspect” in the ongoing investigation as they tried to track down a hatch-back driver spotted in the Gorey area on Halloween, who may have “key information” relating to the incident.

In total, 15 officers are working on the case, including two Guernsey officers and one from Devon and Cornwall Police.

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