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Bedford man charged with non-recent rapes

25 Jul 2019

A man from Bedford has appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court in connection with two rapes which took place in Bedford in 1996 and 1997.

Prem Chandra, formerly known as Putul Nath, 46, of St Leonard’s Avenue, Bedford, was charged with two counts of rape in relation to offences against a 14-year-old girl on 25 June 1996, and a 26-year-old woman on 30 July 1997.

He has been bailed by the court pending a further hearing at Luton Crown Court on 27 August.

Anyone with any information about these investigations is asked to call the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

The investigations were reopened by the Major Crime Unit under Operation Painter; an ongoing review of more than 1,600 cold cases which began in 2016 and has to date seen four successful convictions for non-recent rape and serious sexual assault.

In December 2017, Ian Harper was jailed for life for the rape of a woman in her Peterborough home in 1985.

This was followed in June 2018 by the conviction and sentencing of Shipu Ahmed, from Luton, to 22 years in prison for two counts of rape committed within the space of two weeks in late 2007 on a 15-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman.

Donald Kargbo-Refell from Clapham was jailed for 12 years in November 2018 for the rape of a woman in Bedford in June 1999.

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