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Police issue fresh e-fits in historic rape case

Police issue fresh e-fits in historic rape case

Published by Emma Carton at 7:19am 21st January 2020. (Updated at 10:39am 21st January 2020)

Detectives investigating the rape of a teenage girl in Plymouth have released new e-fits.

The 17-year-old was targeted at the old Strathmore Hotel in the 1978.

It is believed her attackers were sportsmen on tour from South Wales.

Police think the two men pictured above could have vital information.

They are urging anyone who recognises them, or who stayed at the former Strathmore Hotel, to come forward.

Historic Rape in Plymouth
Police have released CCTV images of two men they want to speak to about a historic rape case in Plymouth


What are the details of the case?

The case involves the reported rape of a teenage girl by a group of men, believed to be sportsmen, in Plymouth more than 40 years ago.

Police are investigating the reported non-recent crimes against the 17-year-old, who was subjected to multiple rapes by a number of men.

It is believed they were visiting Plymouth from South Wales and were from a touring sports team.

The offences took place on a Saturday in late January or early February in 1978 at the now closed Strathmore Hotel in Elliot Street.

The victim and her friend had been out socialising in the Safari Club (now known as the Notte Inn) in Plymouth when they met a man, believed to be in his 20s.

He said he was a maths teacher and was part of a sports team on tour from South Wales.

The girl left her friend and went with the teacher to his room at the Strathmore Hotel.

Around an hour later a large group of men, believed to have been known to the teacher, barged into the room and the victim was subjected to multiple rapes.

The men who committed the offence were all described as white, clean shaven and believed to be in their 20s.

Afterwards, during the early evening, the teacher and another man visited the Duke of Cornwall Hotel with the traumatised girl and her friend.

Police are trying to trace these two men as vital witnesses and the victim has helped create e-fit images of them.

Historic Rape in Plymouth
Detectives leading the investigation in Plymouth say the girl, who was 17, was targeted at the former Strathmore Hotel

“I believe these men are the key to identifying the individuals who carried out this horrendous attack as it is clear that the group of men are known to each other.

“We must remember that these images are based on the men in 1978, over 40 years ago, so they would have changed considerably in that time and are likely to be in their 60s now.

"I would like to hear from anyone who recognises these men and I would remind the public that I am seeking these men as witnesses to a horrific crime upon a young female.

“Although this happened over 40 years ago there is every likelihood that allegiances have changed in that time and now is the time to do the right thing.

"If you recognise either of these men or have any information about these offences or who could have committed them please contact us. I need the help of the public to trace the men responsible.

“These offences have had a significant impact upon the life of this woman and they remain with her to this day".

Detective Superintendent Jo Hall, Senior Investigating Officer

Historic Rape in Plymouth
Detectives investigating the historic rape case in Plymouth say it continues to have a significant impact on the victim to this day


As part of the investigation, Devon and Cornwall Police are also appealing for the help of anyone who was working or staying at the hotel at the time of the offences:  

  1. Did you work at the Strathmore Hotel in January/February 1978?
  2. Did you stay at the Strathmore Hotel in January or February 1978?
  3. Did you regularly visit the Strathmore Hotel at that time? 

Anyone with information is urged to contact Devon and Cornwall Police by calling the incident room on 0800 096 1233 if calling from the UK or internationally on 0207 158 0197, quoting crime reference number CR/023620/15.

You can also report any information on Devon and Cornwall Police' dedicated appeals page here.

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