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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

Former Surrey man who now resides in Crawley sentenced for online offences

A 28-year-old man has been given a suspended sentence for inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

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Adam O’Sullivan, of Hunter Road, Crawley, O’Sullivan believed he was talking to a 14-year-old girl but was actually speaking to an investigating officer posing as a teenage girl on Kik messenger.

In May 2016 while living in Weybridge, O’Sullivan used the messaging app to entice the 14-year-old girl he thought he was speaking to, to send indecent images of herself to him. He also sent indecent images of himself.

During their conversation he knew the user was underage but continued to request for various indecent images, they even discussed meeting up.

He was also in various online groups that were sharing indecent videos and images of children.

O’Sullivan was charged with attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts of making indecent images of a child in July 2018. He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges at Guildford Crown Court but changed his plea to guilty just before trial in February. He was sentenced today (18 March), to 22 weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months.

O’Sullivan was also given a seven-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

DC Rene Murdoch said:

“Thankfully O’Sullivan was talking to the police instead of an innocent child and no one was hurt.

“Due to our undercover work we were able to identify an offender, and he will now be prevented from having contact with young persons and restrictions in place around his use of computers and the internet.

“We work tirelessly in Surrey to keep people safe from sexual offenders who pose a risk to children. Some of this work isn’t always visible but rest assured it goes on.”

Surrey Polices top tips:

We strongly advise to turn privacy settings on your social media accounts on to prevent messages and requests from strangers.

Do not accept requests from someone you don’t know.

Never give your personal details or send images of yourself to someone online.

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