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Last Updated: Monday, 6 October, 2003, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
'Rape' case police renew appeal
Grosvenor House hotel
The alleged incident took place at the Grosvenor House hotel
Detectives investigating the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl by Premiership footballers have renewed their appeal for witnesses.

Commander John Yates, the officer in charge of the investigation, said he wants to hear from more witnesses to what happened in London's Grosvenor House hotel early on 27 September.

The move comes two days after police said a "very useful" witness had come forward.

Broadcasters took care over the weekend to avoid carrying any chants from football grounds naming those allegedly involved.

One football player has already complained to the attorney general after a newspaper named his team as being involved.

Mr Yates said on Monday: "I would like to thank the media for their co-operation to date in running our appeal.

"As a result of this we have had one useful witness get in contact. I still need other potential witnesses to come forward."

The hotel management have supplied a list of all staff and guests in the hotel that night, which police are working through.

Anyone with information can contact:
Police on 07769 952519, or
Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111
Mr Yates added: "My team are only interested in information relating to this complex investigation.

"I can assure anyone who is concerned about coming forward that his or her information will be treated confidentially."

The case, said to involve eight footballers, has received widespread media coverage.

Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, has warned newspapers and broadcasters to show restraint and not make names public, in case it ruined any future trial.

He said he was "very concerned that evidence is not distorted by potentially prejudicial reporting at this stage".

At the moment, the threat of a libel action is the only legal obstacle to publication of the players' names by the media.

A contempt of court law, designed to ensure a fair trial free from prejudicial reporting, only comes into force once someone has been arrested or charged with a crime.

The alleged victim, a sixth-form student, made a complaint at Marylebone police station in central London on 27 September, and underwent medical examination at a rape counselling suite.

Forensic teams have examined rooms for DNA evidence at the five-star hotel in Park Lane.


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