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Historic rape: Police investigate 'a number of leads'

Historic rape: Police investigate 'a number of leads'

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:40pm 28th January 2020. (Updated at 7:24am 29th January 2020)

Devon and Cornwall Police say they are investigating 'a number of leads' to do with a historic rape case.

A fresh appeal and e-fits were released a week ago after a 17-year-old was targeted in Plymouth more than 40 year ago.

The incident happened at the old Strathmore Hotel in 1978 and it is believed her attackers were sportsmen on tour from South Wales.

Officers think the two men pictured in the video below could have vital information. They are urging anyone who recognises them, or who stayed at the former Strathmore Hotel, to come forward.

"There has been a positive reaction from the public following the launch of our appeal last week. We have had a number of calls plus information reported online via our dedicated appeal page.

"These leads will be investigated and we will continue to work with partner forces as part of these enquiries. As yet there have been no arrests.

"The victim of these horrendous crimes deserves justice. If you can help us identify the two men that we are seeking as witnesses, or you have any information that might assist us, no matter how small, I appeal to you to contact us."

Detective Superintendent Jo Hall, Senior Investigating Officer

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

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 online via a dedicated appeal page https://mipp.police.uk

Information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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