Bedford man charged with rapes from mid-1990s

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British Police Tape In Front Of Red Post Box, Shallow Depth of Field

A Bedford man has appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court in connection with two rapes which took place in the town 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.

If you have any information about that may help these investigations, you can call the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Operation Painter

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit reopened the investigations in an ongoing review of 1,600 cold cases.

Operation Painter has been looking into cold cases since 2016 and has seen four successful convictions for non-recent rape and serious sexual assault.

  • December 2017: Ian Harper was jailed for life for the rape of a woman in her Peterborough home in 1985
  • June 2018: Shipu Ahmed, from Luton, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for two counts of rape committed in late 2007 on a 15-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman
  • November 2018: Donald Kargbo-Refell from Clapham was jailed for 12 years for the rape of a woman in Bedford in June 1999.
  • May 2019: James Devlin, already serving a prison sentence for the rape of a teenage boy, was further jailed for 13 years for the 1995 rape of a 15-year-old boy in Shortstown.