Two arrests over rape of boy in Manchester shopping centre


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The Independent Online

Two men have been arrested after a 14-year-old boy was raped in a department store toilet on a busy shopping day. The attack happened when the victim visited the Arndale Centre in Manchester city centre on a Saturday in June.

He was approached by two men, one Asian and one white, one of whom said to him: "Come with us, do what we say and if you try to run we'll get you."

The boy was then grabbed by the arm, led out of the shopping centre and taken to nearby Debenhams. He was then taken upstairs in the lift and marched into a toilet, where he was raped by the Asian man.

Police have now arrested two men, aged 55 and 41, on suspicion of rape. Two other men who were arrested yesterday have been bailed pending further inquiries. Police had earlier released CCTV images of suspects they were trying to trace.

When details of the attack were revealed on Tuesday, Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd asked why there had been a two-month delay.

"It really does raise important questions about public safety," he said. "It does seem that the earlier the public are made aware of the danger and the possible identity of the attackers, the more likely they will be able to prevent future attacks and help the police arrest those involved."

Police said the victim had been "devastated" by the assault and was being supported by specially trained officers.