Police step up hunt for sex attacker

DETECTIVES investigating a serious sex attack on a 12-year-old girl have released descriptions of a number of people they believe may prove crucial in the hunt for the assailant.

James Mortlock

DETECTIVES investigating a serious sex attack on a 12-year-old girl have released descriptions of a number of people they believe may prove crucial in the hunt for the assailant.

The victim was walking with a friend along the old railway line in Haverhill when they were both grabbed by a man - one managed to struggle free but the other was pulled into bushes and sexually assaulted.

A police spokesman said the pair - both aged 12 - were subjected to the terrifying attack at around 2pm on July 24: “They passed a man sitting on a bench near Dove House Road. They continued to walk towards Arrendene Road, and as they approached the bridge near Water's Edge the man walked past them heading towards the town centre.

“Moments later both girls were grabbed from behind - one managed to free herself and alerted police, the other was pulled into bushes and was seriously sexually assaulted. She pushed the man away and he ran off towards newly built flats.”

Officers want to speak to a woman who was walking a black Labrador-like dog, which the girls stroked, a woman with a baby buggy and two children - a boy riding a red bike and a girl on a pink bike with stabilisers who were with a slim woman with brown, straight shoulder-length hair who was possibly on a bike.

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They are also looking for three teenage boys aged 14-15 old who were dressed in jeans and trainers. One had spiky brown hair and was wearing a dark blue hooded top and trainers.

Acting Det Insp Trevor Prior, who is heading the hunt for the attacker, said the girls passed several people as they walked along the line: “It is important that we identify and speak to these people, as they may hold important information which could assist this inquiry. Some of the people using the path that afternoon have come forward, but we want to speak to every person who was walking or cycling in that area to piece together a timeline of events.

“Even if you aren't one of these people, if you were using the old railway line between 1pm and 2.30pm on Thursday, July 24 and haven't yet spoken to an officer, I would urge you to come forward. Something you saw that you may feel is insignificant may actually help identify the offender, or someone else who may be able to help.”

The offender was white, in his 20s or 30s, 6ft tall and of slim to medium build. He had short dark hair and was wearing sunglasses, blue jeans, a white t-shirt and trainers.

Anyone with any information should call 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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