Lancaster nightclub rape: Detectives in direct appeal to man involved

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Detectives investigating the rape of an 18-year-old student in a Lancaster nightclub have today appealed directly to the man involved.

As she was leaving a toilet in the Sugarhouse at around 12.30am on October 1, the woman was pushed inside a toilet cubicle and raped.

She managed to fend off her attacker before running from the toilets to raise the alarm.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Gilbert, of Lancashire Police, said: “I’m asking every man in the club that night to reflect on their evening, if you think it is possible you were involved in this incident, but believe you have a different version of events, then please come forward.

“We are currently working on a forensic strategy which may result in a profile of the person we want to speak with.

“If this happens it will be in your interest to come forward now as opposed to us finding you at a later date.

“If we do identify a profile it will be searched against the national DNA database and there are a number of ways this could lead us to you.

“You might not think you match the description which has been circulated, but if you can relate to various aspects of what has been said about that evening then please contact us so that we can talk about it.

“I am appealing for you to come forward so that you can give your version of what happened that night.

“I want people to think back to that night four weeks ago – it would have been the night of Monday 30 September, and was known locally as ‘The Big Night Out’, just one of the Freshers’ events being held that week. It was open to County, Longsdale and Graduate students, but I cannot guarantee that the wider public did not have access to the Sugarhouse so my appeal goes out to anyone who was out that night.

“The offence happened between 12.30am and 12.45am on Tuesday 1.

“If you were in the Sugarhouse at that time, did anyone in your group leave and say they were going to the toilet?

“Was there anyone in your group matching the description of the man we want to trace or did anyone matching the description leave the club unexpectedly?

“Do you know of anyone who had sex in the club that night or have you heard anyone bragging? If you can help with these questions or have any information then please contact us.

“We are also still keen to speak with a second or third year female student who is believed to be studying law at Lancaster University and possibly spoke with the victim in the ladies’ toilets around the time of the incident. If this was you please come forward.

“We are continuing to support the young woman who has suffered a particularly distressing ordeal and once again I would like to reassure people that sexual assaults of this nature are rare.”

Officers are still keen to trace a man captured on CCTV heading towards the ladies’ toilets along with other potential witnesses, including a woman who seems to be coming out of the ladies’ cubicles.

The victim described her attacker as white, about 6ft tall with blond hair and aged 18-30 years old.

He was wearing a light-coloured short-sleeved top with no collar, but he may also have been wearing a long-sleeved shirt or jacket and darker trousers.

Anybody with any information is urged to contact police on 101, quoting log number 0028 of October 1, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111