FORENSIC evidence of the rape of a 15-year-old girl 22 years ago has been destroyed without her attacker ever being brought to justice, according to the alleged victim.

Now 37, the woman The Oldham Times is calling Susan but whose real identity we are not disclosing, says she has been traumatised her entire adult life by the attack which she says took place in the Copster Hill area of the town in 1997.

Her mother says at the time the Crown Prosecution Service had opted not to proceed with the case because Susan had already had sex with her then boyfriend.

Susan says allegations of historic child sex abuse in Oldham currently under investigation and revelations by two victims of abuse publicised in this newspaper had motivated her finally to try to bring the perpetrator who preyed on her when she was schoolgirl to justice.

But when she asked police to look into her case, Susan says she was told the forensic evidence gathered at the St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester in 1997 had been destroyed.

She told the harrowing story of how she was lured to the house where the attack took place by a 14-year-old girl who befriended her, but who already had a child with an Asian partner in his 20s whom she was living with and who she had a child by.

Susan’s mother reluctantly allowed her to go for a “sleep over” at her new friend’s house. And on the night she stayed there, events took a sinister turn.

The partner of her friend came to the house with a second Asian man, Susan, believes must have been in his 30s.

During the night, the second man raped her at knife-point as Susan suffered an epileptic fit, a condition from which she has suffered all her life, but eventually she found the strength to scream out.

The man later kissed her on the cheek before allowing her to leave the house in the morning.

In desperation, Susan went round to her auntie’s house nearby who took her to the police.

She was taken to St Mary’s where she waited all day in the clothes she was wearing without having a shower, so that evidence could be gathered.

“I kept everything on all day,” said Susan. “It was horrible. Eventually, they took my clothes and put them in a bag and took swabs. I was told they got his DNA.

“When I was interviewed, they asked me if I had ever had sex before. I had had sex with my boyfriend once, but because my mum was there, I told them I hadn’t. I later told them the truth.”

That revelation was to prove crucial, according to Susan’s mother.

She told The Oldham Times: “They said they were not proceeding because my daughter already had sex with someone.

“I don’t understand how that can be the case. Most victims of rape are in or have been in sexual relationships with a partner.”

As a result of her experiences at St Mary’s Susan says she has never been for a smear test because of how “degrading” and embarrassing the experience of having swabs taken at hospital was.

Following revelations of sex abuse published in The Oldham Times, Susan contacted the police again to try to get the case reopened and her attacker prosecuted.

“They have told me they have destroyed the evidence,” said Susan. “I find this absolutely astonishing. How could they do that?”

Susan, who is now in a long-term relationship with her partner, said she was pregnant, but has now had a miscarriage, she believes as a result of that news.

The Oldham Times has contacted Greater Manchester Police for comment.