Pier approach rape investigation: Man appears in court

A MAN has appeared in court charged with the rape of a 14-year-old boy in public toilets at Bournemouth seafront.

Richard Derek Coulson, of Merlewood Close, Bournemouth, spoke only to confirm his name and address as he appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 11.

The 51-year-old builder is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy in the Pier Approach toilets between 8.30am and 8.45am on Saturday, May 7, and intentionally touching a boy aged 14 and not reasonably believing he was 16.

Coulson was remanded in custody until June 13 when he will appear at Bournemouth Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.

Magistrate Fiona McKenna remanded Coulson in custody due to the seriousness of the alleged offences.

After police charged Coulson, detective chief inspector Ross Graham, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Following a fast-paced investigation and consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, we have been given authority to charge a 51-year-old man from Bournemouth with rape and he is due to appear at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 11.

“Specially trained officers are continuing to provide support to the boy and his family, and they have been updated with this latest development.

“Our investigation into this reported offense remains ongoing and I would urge any witnesses or anyone with information to please contact Dorset Police.

“This matter is now subject to a court process, and it would therefore be entirely inappropriate for Dorset Police to comment further at this time. It is important that the justice system is allowed to follow its course.

“I would like to remind the public that this matter is now the subject of active court proceedings, and it is important to stress that there should be no commentary or sharing of information online or on social media that could potentially prejudice these proceedings.”

The toilets remained closed on Monday while police continued investigating the incident.

Neighborhood Chief Inspector Darren Harris, of the BCP Local Policing Area, said: “We are continuing to work collaboratively with BCP Council and other partner agencies to ensure we have an increased visible presence along the seafront and these efforts will continue throughout the rest of the spring and summer.

“Police officers, police community support offices, Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) officers and council staff can be approached by members of the public with any concerns. RNLI lifeguards and staff can also be approached, with their beach towers serving as a safe place to address concerns or seek further help.”

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