Sunday, November 7, 2010

Investigation after sex attack claims 'turned out to be false'

DETECTIVES are to launch an investigation after claims of a sex attack at a Newton Abbot beauty spot allegedly turned out to be false.

A full-scale inquiry was prompted after reports of a 'serious sexual assault' in Jetty Marsh nature reserve, off Kingsteignton Road, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

But Det Insp Nick Wilden said: "Police are satisfied the alleged incident did not take place."

After the incident was reported, police appealed for witnesses who may have seen three men aged in their 20s with a woman with blonde shoulder length hair in the Balls Corner and Kingsteignton Road area of Newton Abbot at 1am on Sunday.

Officers also made local inquiries and scoured the scene for clues.

DI Wilden said: "The area was cordoned off for 12 hours from the early hours of Sunday through the day so investigations could be made.

"Scenes of crime officers and forensics spent time at the scene and a specialist search unit scoured the area.
"We had 10 detectives working on the case along with a CCTV operator who was looking at identifying potential offenders.

"A lot of resources were involved. I am now satisfied that the alleged incident did not take place."

He said officers had now launched an inquiry into allegations of wasting police time.

DI Wilden moved quickly to quash rumours circulating locally and on internet websites.

He said: "There has been a lot of rumours on social networking websites and through word of mouth that there is a sexual predator on the loose in Newton Abbot. This is categorically not the case and those types of claims are not helpful."

He stressed: "We would not want anyone to be put off reporting a genuine incident to us.

"We would treat any allegation of a sexual offence as very serious and we will put as much resources into it as we can."