Man charged in connection with rape and kidnapping in Hemel Hempstead

A 26-year-old man has been charged after a woman was forced into a car and RAPED in Adeyfield.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:04 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:06 am

Zachery Owens, of Lawn Lane, Hemel Hempstead, was charged with the following offences in the early hours of today (Thursday):

- Rape of a female aged 16 years or over (two counts)

- Assault of a female aged 13 or over by penetration

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- Wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent

- Kidnap

- False imprisonment

- Taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent

- Driving while disqualified

- Using a motor vehicle on a public road without third party insurance

The victim, in her 20s, was walking in Farmhouse Lane at about 7.30am on Tuesday when she was approached by a man, who forced her into a vehicle.

Owens has been remanded in custody and is due to appear before Hatfield Remand Court today (Thursday).

Detective Inspector Phil Moss said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the public who have assisted us with our investigation so far. The victim remains our focus at this time and she continues to be safeguarded and supported by specialist officers.

“Understandably, news of this incident has been discussed widely on local social media sites and the vast majority of the comments have been responsible in nature.

"However, we would like to issue a polite reminder that this remains a live, on-going investigation, so we ask that people refrain from speculating about the incident publicly and let the judicial process take its course.

“The victim is entitled to lifetime anonymity under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 so we ask people to be mindful of publishing any information that may lead to her being publicly identified. Thank you for your understanding.”

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information on this incident, and in particular would like to speak to anyone who believes they saw a man wearing a bright red Puffa jacket in the Farmhouse Lane area around the time of the offence.

They are also keen to hear from anyone who was driving along High Street Green, towards Swallowdale Lane, between 7.30am and 8am on Tuesday 21 January, with a recording dash cam as they would like to review your footage.

If you believe you have any information that could assist officers, even if you think it is minor or insignificant email DI Moss at [email protected], report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator at Force Communications Room via online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101.