Woman ‘kidnapped and raped’ by homeless man in town centre

Northampton high street
Northampton high street

A woman was kidnapped and raped in a bustling town centre before shop workers came to her aid, police have said.

The member of the public, whose age is unknown, was attacked on the morning of Friday, May 12, in the Greyfriars area of Northampton.

Northamptonshire Police said the alleged attack was reported to them shortly after 9am that day, having happened at an unspecified time earlier.

Greyfriars is a former bus station which dominated Northampton’s skyline for four decades before being demolished in 2015 and redeveloped into flats, student rooms and retirement apartments.

Following the incident, the woman sought refuge at the nearby Bonmarché shop in Abington Street, a busy high street, police said.

At Bonmarché, staff provided her with support before police arrived.

Northampton Police said on Wednesday morning that a homeless man, Leon Svans, 27, has been charged with two counts of rape and one count of kidnap.

The force said in a statement: “Svans appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, May 16, where he was remanded into custody ahead of a plea hearing at Northampton Crown Court on June 27, 2023.”

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