DETECTIVES are continuing to investigate after a woman was dragged into an alleyway and gang raped in an ‘extremely traumatic’ attack.

They are hunting three or four men who are said to have been involved in the attack on the 23-year-old woman.


The attackers were not known to the victim, police said.

They added the attack was being treating the attack as an ‘isolated incident’.

One of the offenders is described as dark skinned and around 6ft tall and another as chubby. All the men were wearing hats and one may have been wearing a waterproof coat.

The victim described some of the men as speaking with foreign accents.

Officers are especially keen to trace a silver or grey Vauxhall Astra which was seen acting suspiciously on Tennyson Road at about 9.40pm.

They are also keen to hear from anyone who was in the McDonald’s Restaurant on North Valley Road at about 10.40pm when the victim walked past.

Community leaders described the attack as ‘horrific’ and said the whole community was deeply ‘shocked’.

The victim, who is being supported by specially-trained officers, was walking along Tennyson Road shortly before the attack at 11pm on Saturday.

Police said as she arrived at the junction with Slater Avenue she was grabbed from behind by a man and dragged into an alleyway where possibly two or three other men were waiting.

It was then the rape took place, officers said.

No arrests have been made.

Detectives said they are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a group of three or four men acting suspiciously in the area at around 10.40pm on Saturday.

DCI Joanne McHugh from the Force Major Investigation Team said: “Our investigation into this serious incident is on-going and we have a number of lines of enquiry which we are following.

“We continue to work closely with the victim who has been through an extremely traumatic experience and she is being supported by specially trained officers at this time.

“We are appealing to anyone with any information that could assist with our investigation to come forward and contact us as soon as possible.

“The concern about what’s happened understandably remains high in the community and I would like to stress again that incidents like this are rare and that we are doing all we can to trace those responsible.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “This is obviously an horrific incident and we all need to work together to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice.

“I would encourage anyone with any information about those responsible for this horrific crime to pass it on to the police without delay.

“Fortunately these things don’t happen in Pendle, and even East Lancashire, as a whole, very often but when they do we need to ensure those responsible are held to account without delay.”

County Cllr Dorothy Lord, who represents Pendle Central, said: “It’s just unbelievable that this can happen.

“It’s quite frightening that it can go on in your town.

“My thoughts are with the victim because something like this can leave you scarred for life.

“The whole community will have been left shocked by this and I would encourage anyone with information about who is responsible to contact the police immediately.”

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, quoting log 1523 of 6th February.