Mother tells of 11-year-old daughter's rape in store

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The Independent Online

The mother of an 11-year-old girl who was raped in a supermarket lavatory described her daughter's ordeal as she appealed for help to catch the attacker.

The woman, who cannot be named, said her daughter would be scarred forever by the "sick" attack,which happened in Sainsbury's at the Shires Retail Park near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on Thursday.

The girl had been attending after-school maths classes in a teaching unit in the supermarket until 7pm, when she met her mother to go shopping in the store. She was followed into the lavatories by the man, who pushed her back into the cubicle as she tried to leave and raped her. After 15 minutes she returned to the shop floor.

"She was shaking and distraught," recalled her mother, who was fighting back tears during a press conference yesterday. "She said, 'A nasty man has done some horrible things to me in the toilet.'

"This man said, 'If you tell the police or anybody I will come back and hurt you.' He needs to be caught."

The girl has provided police with a detailed description of the rapist. He is a white teenager or man in his early twenties, about 5ft 6in, with brown eyes, heavy acne and long hair tucked into the raised hood of a black anorak, which had a red front with silver stripes. He smelt strongly of cigarettes.

The ordeal lasted between seven and 10 minutes, during which time a woman used the neighbouring cubicle. Police want to speak to her and to another woman who left the lavatories as the girl entered.

"She is never going to forget it," said her mother. "It will scar her for life. You lose your trust in everyone you don't know."