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MP calls for prompt extradition of Lowestoft rape suspect who fled country three days after attack

PUBLISHED: 17:02 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:44 23 December 2017

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger says police are working to bring the suspect back to the UK. Picture: Archant Library

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger says police are working to bring the suspect back to the UK. Picture: Archant Library

Detectives investigating a rape in Lowestoft have identified a suspect, but say he has fled the country and his extradition could take 12 to 18 months.

Kimberley Road, Lowestoft, where a woman was raped in a car in the early hours of December 9. Picture: Mick Howes Kimberley Road, Lowestoft, where a woman was raped in a car in the early hours of December 9. Picture: Mick Howes

Officers have been following a number of lines of enquiry ever since a woman in her 30s was attacked in a car on Kimberley Road in the early hours of December 9.

After forensic work, CCTV examination and house-to-house enquiries, a suspect is now wanted by Suffolk Constabulary, but it transpires that he left the United Kingdom three days after the attack occurred - prior to coming to the attention of police.

With the attacker now abroad, police are working hard to bring the individual back to the UK, but Waveney MP Peter Aldous says the potential wait of up to a year-and-a-half is excessive.

“It is a source of major concern that there could be a delay of 12 to 18 months, especially when the victim is going through such an awful ordeal,” said Mr Aldous. “For a crime of this seriousness, I think that length of time is far too long.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Archant. Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Archant.

“I will be making representations about this to the Home Secretary and Lord Chancellor in due course, as well as liaising with the police.

“In the meantime, my thoughts go out to the victim and her family.”

The incident occurred between 4.15am and 5.15am. At about 4am, the victim had accepted a lift from the stranger driving what she describes as a small light or silver coloured car because she believed he was a Good Samaritan.

Det Supt Eamonn Bridger - the senior investigating officer for the case - says police are determined to achieve justice despite the suspect’s current location.

“We have made excellent progress in this inquiry and are grateful to all the members of the public who have provided us with information for their assistance,” he said.

“We have now identified a suspect for this attack and are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.

“Unfortunately this individual left the country before he became a person of interest to us, but we are now working to bring him back to the United Kingdom as we are determined to achieve justice for the victim.”

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference 78398/17. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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