In a significant breakthrough, Sussex Police have successfully charged and/or remanded six men in connection with a series of sexual assaults and rapes reported around the Brighton Beach area. This development follows the police’s announcement in September about investigating these grave incidents.
The successful location and apprehension of these suspects were made possible by the courageous actions of six women who came forward to report their ordeals. Sussex Police, along with their partners, have been providing continuous support to these women, a commitment that will be upheld throughout the legal process.
Superintendent Adele Tucknott, the lead officer for Violence Against Women and Girls at Sussex Police, expressed the gravity with which each case was handled. Hundreds of hours were dedicated to meticulous investigations, ensuring that every lead was pursued to identify and apprehend the suspects. Superintendent Tucknott emphasized the message these charges send to potential offenders in Brighton and Hove, underlining the police force’s unwavering commitment to bringing perpetrators to justice.
Furthermore, in an effort to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future, Sussex Police, in collaboration with various partners, have heightened safety measures in the area. These measures include increased patrols, the use of drones to monitor hard-to-reach areas like the beach, and several other initiatives aimed at reducing vulnerabilities and maintaining Brighton’s reputation as a safe destination for evening outings.
These separate investigations fall under four distinct operations. Information around each of the charges as follows:
On Wednesday, 6 September, police received a report that a young woman had been raped on the beach near Brighton Pier shortly after midnight.
Three days later, on Friday, 8 September, officers were called to London Road in the early hours after a report that a woman in her 20s had been sexually assaulted at around 3.15am.
Ahmed Lahmatar, 36, of no fixed address, has been charged with rape and attempted rape and remanded in custody.
He is due to appear for trial at a court to be confirmed on 4 March, 2024.
On Sunday, 10 September, police were called to the beach near the Kings Road Arches at around 5.35am by a member of the public concerned for the welfare of a woman in her 30s.
Ali Reza Mozaffari, 36, of Golders Green Road, London, has been charged with rape and remanded in custody.
Isaac Cid-Lopez, 22, of Radbourne Crescent in London, has been charged with rape and theft. He has been released on court bail with strict conditions.
Both will appear at a court to be confirmed on 26 February, 2024.
In the early hours of Saturday, 16 September, police received a report that a woman in her 20s had been raped on the beach.
Following enquiries, a 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape and being in possession of a class B drug – cannabis. He has been remanded in custody in relation to a separate matter.
In the early hours of 24 September, a woman reported being raped on the seafront near Brighton Pier, and another sexually assaulted nearby.
Altaib Hamed, 25, of Lewes Road in Brighton, has now been charged with rape and remanded in custody.
Bader Saleh, 23, of Percival Terrace in Brighton, has been charged with sexual assault and remanded in custody.
Both will appear in courts to be confirmed on 18 December.
Superintendent Adele Tucknott continued: “If you feel threatened or made uncomfortable by someone’s behaviour, please report it to security staff, a police officer or by dialling 999 in an emergency. The same applies if you see someone behaving suspiciously or who appears to be vulnerable.
“We would remind people of the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme, which allows anyone who feels unsafe, vulnerable or threatened to discreetly ask for help in the city’s venues. We would also encourage the public to download the Safe Space Sussex app, which highlights the location of safe spaces people can wait for a friend or taxi.”