Astoria nightclub owner says 'heart goes out' to woman allegedly raped at Portsmouth venue as 'quick' staff praised

A NIGHTCLUB owner has said his ‘heart goes out’ to a woman who was allegedly raped at the venue on Saturday.

By Steve Deeks
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:03 pm

Ethan Barr, 24, from Kent, was charged with the rape of a 20-year-old woman at The Astoria nightclub, in Guildhall Walk, in the early hours of Saturday.

Police confirmed on Tuesday they had charged Barr following the incident and he was remanded in custody.

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The Astoria in Guildhall Walk. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Officers praised the work of staff at the club who helped the woman.

Now Astoria owner Alistair Ritchie has moved to reassure the public and said the venue is doing everything it can to help police with its investigation.

Speaking to The News, he said: ‘Our hearts go out to the female who was affected.

‘The venue management has been working with Hampshire police to best guarantee a successful conviction.

‘The door staff and venue team discovered the girl on the night and acted quickly to identify and detain the male along with associated evidence.’

A statement from Hampshire Constabulary, released on Tuesday, said: ‘The woman was in Astoria nightclub on Guildhall Walk when she was attacked at some point between 2am and 3am.

‘She was helped by staff, the venue has assisted our investigation, and she is now being supported by specialist officers.’

Barr, of Mallings Drive, Bearsted, was remanded to appear at Southampton Magistrates’ Court this week.

He was then further remanded to next appear in court on Monday, May 30.