A 28-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with rape following an alleged attack in Bournemouth's Lower Gardens.

The man, who lives in Bournemouth and whose identity has not yet been released, is due to appear in court on Monday.

A 43-year-old Bournemouth man who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released under investigation.

Dorset Police received a report at 6.12am on Wednesday November 13 that a woman had been found with injuries in Lower Gardens in Bournemouth.

Officers attended, along with the ambulance service, and the woman – aged in her 40s – was taken to hospital for treatment. She has since been discharged and is continuing to be supported by specially-trained officers.

While in hospital, the woman reported that she had been walking through the gardens at around 5.40am when she was approached from behind by a man, who assaulted and raped her.

Following enquiries, led by Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), a 28-year-old Bournemouth man was arrested on suspicion of rape.

Detectives have consulted with the Crown Prosecution Service and he has today, Saturday November 16, been charged with an offence of rape. He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Poole Magistrates' Court on Monday November 18.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of MCIT, said: “It is important to stress – as is typical in such circumstances – that it would be entirely inappropriate for Dorset Police to comment any further ahead of the court proceedings. It is vital that the justice system is allowed to follow its course.”