Police hunt men after ‘gang rape’

Detectives are investigating claims a Leyland woman was gang raped after a night out.

One man has been charged and police have appealed for help in tracing three other men they believe could have information about the alleged attack.

The woman was walking down Fishergate in Preston city centre, shortly before 4am last Sunday after a night out with friends, when police say she met three men close to Debenhams.

The 24-year-old woman went to a flat in Walton’s Parade with the men, where she claims she was subjected to a ‘horrendous’ gang rape, involving three men.

After the incident she fled towards Preston train station where she raised the alarm with a passer-by who called the police.

Detectives said the attackers were of Mediterranean or Asian appearance and they believe the men had been on a night out in the Church Street area until the early hours of Sunday morning.

CCTV images were released of two men police are treating as potential suspects and a third man police want to speak to in connection with the attack.

Det Insp Paul Burnside, of Lancashire police’s public protection unit, said: “I would appeal for anybody with any information in relation to this offence to contact the numbers given.

“It was a very traumatic experience and I think it is fair to say she is distressed and traumatised.”

The woman was on a night out with friends in and around Church Street but left on her own and was planning to go home.

Police have appealed for witnesses and particularly want to speak to anyone who was in Church Street in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Det Insp Burnside, added: “The focus of attention is on the Church Street at the top of the street, where we suspect they have been drinking.”

Anyone with any information can contact police on 01772 203203 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

* A 26-year-old man from the Preston area has been charged with rape.He appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, where he was remanded in custody.