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Memorial Gardens, Crawley closed after rape on Saturday night

Police are searching for a suspect aged about 18.

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Police are investigating a report that a woman was raped in the Memorial Gardens, Crawley, in the early hours of Sunday (6 January).

Officers are still establishing the circumstances after the 30-year-old victim said she was sitting in the gardens with a man she had met there earlier.

He then took her into some bushes and raped her sometime between 1am and 2.25am before running off towards the Kingsgate car park. She is being supported by specially trained officers.

The suspect is described as aged about 18, white with black long scruffy hair down to his ears and a medium black beard. He was wearing a white hoody possibly North Face, blue jeans, white Nike trainers and a big gold watch.

Detective Sergeant Pauline Lane said:

“We are appealing for any witnesses who were in the Memorial Gardens on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday who may have any information about this incident to come forward.

The victim who also approached two men after she was attacked and told them what had happened. We also need to speak to these two men.

“There are police patrols in the area of Memorial Gardens and anyone with concerns should speak to them.”


If you have any information which could help the investigation, contact police online https://www.sussex.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/ or ring 101 quoting serial 110 of 06/01.

You can report crime and incidents online at www.sussex.police.uk/reportonline

It is thought it will be unlikely that the gardens will be opened for some time.

A Sussex police spokesperson said:

“Officers remain at the scene pending a forensic examination being completed.

The victim is currently being supported by specialist officers.”

Crawley police took to twitter this morning to reassure the public of their safety and to explain the closure.

There have been no arrests at this time.

Crime

Crawley man jailed for over 4 years after racist and homophobic abuse at Brighton Pride revellers

A man who hurled racist and homophobic abuse at revellers heading to Brighton Pride has been jailed for more than four years.

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Ryan Brown was heading to Pride himself when he threatened to ‘knock a woman out’ and shouted racist and homophobic terms at train passengers.

The incident happened shortly after 5pm on Saturday 5 August 2017.

The 31-year-old from Hastings Road in Crawley, West Sussex, resisted arrest at Brighton and had to be restrained by BTP officers.

In his pocket he had a large number of small bags containing MDMA.

He was found guilty of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and causing fear of violence through racially charged and homophobic language.

Brown was also sentenced at the same time for a separate matter which included affray, criminal damage, and assault with intent to resist arrest which he pleaded guilty to in December 2018.

He was jailed for four years and six months at Hove Crown Court on Thursday 10 January.

British Transport Police DC Imogen Sweeney said:

“I would like to thank the victim in this case. She was subjected to a frightening ordeal by Brown, receiving homophobic abuse and witnessing racist abuse. 

“She has remained determined to pursue justice throughout this investigation and I have nothing but admiration and praise for her strength.

“Brighton Pride celebrates diversity and equality, values that Brown clearly needs education in. I believe this sentence reflects the seriousness and particularly nasty nature of his offending on that day.”

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