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Sex attack investigation after woman followed and grabbed from behind in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 16:23 08 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:56 09 December 2018

The attack happened in Beaconsfield Road  Picture: ARCHANT

The attack happened in Beaconsfield Road Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A woman was left badly shaken after being followed along an Ipswich street and grabbed from behind in a ‘horrifying’ late night attack.

The attacker left in the direction of Bramford Road  Picture: ARCHANTThe attacker left in the direction of Bramford Road Picture: ARCHANT

The victim’s screams scared off her attacker in Beaconsfield Road on Friday night.

Police are treating the incident as a sexual assault and are appealing for witnesses or information.

The attack happened at about 10.15pm after the woman was followed a short distance by a man, who then grabbed her from behind and put his hand over her mouth, causing her to fall to the ground.

When the victim screamed, the man left in the direction of Bramford Road.

It happened the night after hundreds of people gathered outside the University of Suffolk for a ‘Reclaim the Night’ march – demanding an end to sexual violence and harassment.

A reader poll, launched by this newspaper on the eve of the march, asked if people felt safe walking in Ipswich at night.

Of 140 responses, 81% said they did not feel safe – coming as no surprise to Suffolk Rape Crisis director Amy Roch, who said the results reflected what service users reported on a daily basis, and that more needed to be done to ensure women felt safe in the town at night.

The march was organised by Suffolk Rape Crisis, with support from the Suffolk Feminist Society Network and the University of Suffolk Students’ Union.

Borough councillor for Westgate ward, Colin Kreidewolf said he was “absolutely horrified” to hear news of the attack – particularly in light of the march taking place the night before.

“It’s very concerning that women should feel frightened in the street.

“I’m pleased she was not hurt, and I’m glad her screams scared off the attacker, but she was clearly very frightened.

“Thankfully, these types of attacks remain few in number, but it’s still seriously concerning – especially as women were standing up to be counted only the night before.”

A police spokesman said the victim of Friday night’s attack was left “extremely shaken up as a result of the incident”.

The man suspected of carrying out the assault was described as white, wearing a black hooded top and tracksuit bottoms.

If you can help, call police on 101 quoting reference 70822/18, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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