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Young woman raped in Pound Hill, police seek witnesses

Police in Crawley are investigating the rape of a 22-year-old woman on a local path in Pound Hill.

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At about 10pm on Thursday 13 June, the woman was walking along the footpath which runs between Somerville Road and Worth Park Gardens when she was attacked by a man who raped her before making off.

He is described as white, in his forties, about 5’10”, with short dark hair including grey streaks, and a beard. He was wearing dark jeans, black shoes (not trainers) and a blue t-shirt with a logo of some kind.

Detective Inspector Karrie Bohanna of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said;

“We have been working with the woman, with specially trained officers, to understand the full circumstances and to ensure she has further expert support and advice.

“Our investigation is ongoing and we have been making enquiries in the area. If you were in the Pound Hill, Worth Park Gardens area at around that time on Thursday 13 June, and saw anything suspicious, please get in touch with us online by calling 101, quoting serial 810 of 16/06.

“We would particularly like to identify and contact three people who may be able to help us. Following the attack the victim went to the nearby pub, Tavern on the Green, and sought directions. She spoke with two men there, one of whom escorted here to her address.

“The third person is a woman walking nearby with a black dog about 15 minutes before the attack. The woman is described as white, about 5’7” and with long dark hair, wearing a dark jacket.

“This appears to be an isolated incident for the area and not part of any pattern. Please let us know if you can help.”

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Tributes paid after Tilgate Councillor passes away

Councillor Charles Petts passed away yesterday evening (15th July).

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Councillor Charles Petts recently won a council seat for Tilgate in the May elections after serving as a West Sussex County Councillor for Three Bridges.

Posting on his facebook page Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“Yesterday evening I lost one of my best friends to cancer.

We’d been friends since 2006, well before either of us got involved in local politics.

Cllr Charles Petts to most and Jeff to his friends, Jeff was a great guy. A really kind, generous man who lived his Christian faith and smiled at life.

Jeff knew my family really well, knew my kids, knew my mum and dad, and loads of my family. He was a big part of my life.

Whenever I met up with him or whenever he came over to my place (which was very, very regularly) I said the usual “how’s it going?” and he would say “ahk you know, I’m alright, can’t complain”.

Jeff had been battling cancer for a couple of years, and was putting up a great fight, even doing a tough mudder last year, but then very recently, it all changed.

I am heartbroken. I haven’t lost a colleague, I’ve lost a brother, a best friend.

Jeff has left behind a young daughter and a son. I am heartbroken for them too, completely.

I look forward to seeing Jeff in the next life, and until then I will miss him greatly.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“He was well liked and dedicated and will be a great loss to Crawley.”

Mr Smith also tweeted:

Crawley Conservative Leader Duncan Crow tweeted:

Leader of Crawley Council tweeted:

A statement from Crawley Borough Council said:

“Councillor Charles Petts, ward councillor for Tilgate, died peacefully yesterday evening in St Catherine’s Hospice with his son present.

Charles had been a Crawley Borough Councillor since May and a West Sussex County Councillor for Three Bridges since 2017.”

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