New lines in rape investigation

Cold case detectives investigating the rape of an elderly woman nearly 13 years ago are following up a number of "extremely interesting" leads following a national television appeal.

Cold case detectives investigating the rape of an elderly woman nearly 13 years ago are following up a number of "extremely interesting" leads following a national television appeal.

Norfolk Police is now pursuing more than 30 new lines of enquiry after a crime-fighting show highlighted the brutal attack of a 71-year-old at West Harling Heath, near Thetford, on June 7 1994.

Officers have received information from across the country, including names of potential suspects, after police and the victim made a fresh appeal on ITV1 last night .

Detective Chief Insp Neil Firm, who is leading Operation Monsoon, said detectives and had received a number of very promising calls.

"As a result of the programme and media interest this week, we have had a number of calls and some of those calls have been extremely interesting. In some cases, names have been put forward for the suspect, and these will be followed up and dealt with accordingly."

"I would like to thank the public for their response to this appeal and continue to appeal to them to come forward with information," he said.

Most Read

The victim, who is now 84 and lives in the north of England, was walking her dog along a woodland footpath known as The Gallops at 12.20pm on June 7 1994 when she was approached by a teenage boy who asked her for the time. The offender then subjected her to an horrific 20 minute sex attack and tried to strangle the retired college lecturer's dog before leaving her almost naked in stinging nettles.

The victim told Reward: Catching the Criminals, which is offering a £10,000 award for an arrest and conviction: "I do not have any feelings about him (the offender). As a human being he does not meet up to anything. I do not suppose he has amended his ways, so I hope he will be caught."

A full investigation was launched at the time and was resurrected by Norfolk Police's Major Investigation Team (MIT) two years ago. The offender, who is now in his early 30s is described as of Mediterranean appearance, 5ft 6in to 5ft 7in tall, of medium build and with a "mophead" haircut.

Anyone with information about the offence is asked to contact Norfolk Police MIT on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.