Sussex

Brighton rape appeal to feature on Crimewatch

Police hunting for a man who raped a 17-year-old girl in Brighton are hoping a nationwide appeal for information will help them find the offender.

The attack, in Dyke Road on 15 February, is to be featured on BBC One's Crimewatch programme later.

"Crimewatch gives us the opportunity to appeal to the national audience," said Det Ch Insp Trevor Bowles.

"It is quite possible this offender is not resident in Brighton and may have been passing through the city."

He added: "I am going to be appealing to the national audience to help us identify this man and get him locked up."

The girl was grabbed from behind and dragged into Dyke Road Park in the early hours of the morning.

The area near the tennis courts was cordoned off following the rape and police carried out extra patrols.

Crimewatch will show a reconstruction along with CCTV footage showing a man walking about eight seconds behind the victim and about 500 yards from where the attack took place.

He is described as being in his 30s, olive skinned, of stocky build with short dark hair and sideburns. He was wearing jeans, a dark jacket and trainers and may have been wearing a hat.

"We are in the fortunate position in this investigation that we do have a DNA profile to compare against any name that is given to us, so eliminating people will be very easy," said Mr Bowles.

A man whose CCTV image was released by police in March has been traced and eliminated from the investigation.

Crimewatch will also feature CCTV footage of two men who robbed a Littlehampton betting shop on 14 February.

The men stole about £180 from a gaming machine in William Hill at Wick Parade after threatening a woman staff member with a knife.

Crimewatch is on BBC One at 2100 BST on Tuesday.

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