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I was raped by the Beast

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A FORMER air hostess who was kidnapped, tied up and raped in 1960 tells for the first time today why she thinks it was the Beast of Jersey behind her attacker's terrifying mask.

She has broken a 45-year silence in the hope that telling her horrific story could help in the hunt for the murderer of Finnish au pair Tuula Hoeoek.

Now in her 70s and still living in the Island, she describes being taken to a field in the western parishes and subjected to a 30-minute ordeal that she will never be able to forget.

She is quite sure she would have been murdered if she had not managed to escape.

Just like Miss Hoeoek, the woman, whose identity the Jersey Evening Post has agreed to keep secret, was picked up from a bus stop and driven to a field.

Unlike Miss Hoeoek, she escaped with her life.

Miss Hoeoek was 20 years old when she was picked up from a bus stop in Georgetown, taken to a field near Clos de Roncier, in St Clement, and beaten to death with a blunt weapon.

Her skull was smashed to pieces in the attack on New Year's Eve 1966.

The former air hostess identified the Beast, Edward Paisnel, as the rapist, but was denied her chance to name him in court because of a deal struck between defence and prosecution counsels before his trial for several counts of sexually abusing children.

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The prosecution agreed to drop the charge in return for a pledge by Paisnel's lawyer, the late Advocate Tom Dorey, that he would not contest part of the Crown case.

Today, however, she gets that opportunity in the hope it might lead to her attacker, and Miss Hoeoek's killer, finally being brought to justice.

On 6 March 1960, the 26-year-old air stewardess was waiting at a bus stop in Portelet, St Brelade, when a man pulled up and asked if she wanted a lift back to St Helier.

'He said he was going to town and would I like a lift,' she recalls.

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'I would not have got in if he had not said he was going to town.

'We went quite a long way out of the way.

He went through St Peter's and he said he was going to pick up his wife.

He said he was a doctor and was on his way to pick his wife up, so I didn't really bother.' 'Then he went off the road into a field and I just said ""What are you doing?"", but he got out, opened the car door and pulled me out.

I tried to resist him, obviously.' By now he had a mask on and threatened that he had a knife.

She was tied up and blindfolded and led through the field.

'I think I had my hands tied behind me,' she recalls.

'After a while he did the necessary in the field and put me back into the car.

I don't know how long it was.

It was probably about half an hourish.

'I thought I was going to be killed.

I actually thought how awful it would be to be in the News of the World.

I was thinking it would be in all the papers.

I thought he would kill me in the field.' With her back in the car, he drove very fast across the Island through the night.

'He drove somewhere near Sion and I was trying to attract the attention of other drivers because I was in the back,' she said.

Terrified, she managed to free her hands and loosen her blindfold, enabling her to catch sight of the man as he turned round to keep her quiet.

'I was really trying to look at him.

He was going very fast and obviously knew the Island.

I cannot tell you why he stopped, but he did and I managed to get out of the car and screamed.' Two men in another car came to her rescue as the rapist sped off into the darkness.

'Some people came out of a bungalow to help me, ' she said.

'I don't think I ever thanked them.

They took me inside and phoned for a doctor.

'I cannot really say how I know it was Paisnel, but he was the right height and when he was driving he turned round to stop me making a fuss and that was when I saw him.

Obviously, he was not driving with his mask on.' She added: 'When I heard Paisnel had died, I was so pleased.

I was so pleased he had been found guilty of the other crimes and put away.

I was so sure he would have killed someone else at some time.

I am pleased he is not coming back because he is dead.

'You never forget anything like that.

I don't know very much about Tuula Hoeoek.

It just seems a very close coincidence because the facts are quite similar.' It is the similarity of the facts of her story with those of the Hoeoek case that is a key factor in the belief of three detectives of the 1960s murder squad team who remain convinced Paisnel killed the Finnish au pair.

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