Victim of rape agrees name can be released

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The Independent Online
A 67-YEAR-OLD ex-magistrate who was raped on Christmas Day as she walked home from midnight Mass has agreed to be named in the hope that it will help police catch her attacker.

Muriel Harvey, a widow who is a former member of the bench at Ludlow, Shropshire, and chairwoman of Ludlow Festival, said she took the step because she wanted local people to know she was the victim to encourage witnesses to come forward.

Mrs Harvey, a church warden at St Lawrence parish church in Ludlow, where she had attended the Christmas Eve service, was attacked at 1.30am on Christmas morning near her home in Dinham, close to the town centre.

She said: 'It is all over now for me but not for the rest of the women of Ludlow. I feel very angry for our community as a whole, more than I feel resentment for this man.

'I am willing to be identified in the hope that more people who may have any more information will contact the police.'

She thought the rapist was 'probably a loner and some very sad creature who obviously needs treatment'.

'I feel that I would like to have him flogged but treated afterwards,' she added.

Mrs Harvey said the rape had not lessened her Christian faith - if anything, it had been deepened.

She had tried not to let the attack mar her family's Christmas.

'We had our Christmas Day on Boxing Day and I had the best ever Christmas with my children and grandchildren. There is such a wonderful well of love around me,' she said.

Detectives in Ludlow are expected to release an artist's impression of the suspect.

Mrs Harvey last night told the Press Association she had signed a legal document, agreeing to be identified in the press.