A 14-year-old boy was raped at the King Alfred Leisure Centre on Hove seafront, Sussex Police said today (Friday 3 February).
A 47-year-old man from Rottingdean was arrested during the week, charged with the rape and brought before a court.
Detectives are appealing for a couple who were at the King Alfred last Sunday (29 January) – and who may potentially be witnesses – to come forward.
Sussex Police said that the couple may have useful information without realising it, adding: “The man and woman were in the reception area of the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove on the afternoon of Sunday 29 January.
“The man went into the toilets just after 2.10pm while the woman waited on a settee. He came out a few moments later and the couple left the centre together.
“They are both described as white and in their thirties or forties. The man had brown hair and was wearing a three-quarter-length brown jacket and the woman had long brown hair.”
Detective Inspector Jason Hazzard said: “Without realising it, this couple, who we emphasise are regarded solely as potential witnesses, may have valuable information.
“We ask them to contact us and we also ask anyone else who has information which they think may help our investigation to get in touch with us, via firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Abbeywood.
“You can also report online to https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal or call 101.
“All reports will be treated in confidence and you can arrange to speak to experienced investigators.”
Nicholas Gully, 47, a self-employed psychotherapist based in Hove, has been charged with the rape of the 14-year-old boy in the toilets at the centre on Sunday afternoon.
Gully, of Eley Crescent, Rottingdean, appeared in custody at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (1 February) and was remanded in custody to appear at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday 1 March.
Sussex Police said: “Detectives from the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Investigation Unit have been making inquiries since the report was first reported to police on Sunday afternoon.
“Gully was arrested just after midnight on Tuesday (30 January) and was charged on the evening of the same day.
“The boy was not physically injured but was severely shocked and detectives have ensured that he has access to specialist welfare advice and support.”
Anyone seeking help and support can contact the Sussex Rape Crisis Centre Survivors’ Network by calling 01273 203380 or visiting