Girl sexually assaulted near to Gilberd School in Colchester

Libius Drive, off Gavin Way, Colchester. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Libius Drive, off Gavin Way, Colchester. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Community figures in Colchester have expressed their shock after a girl was sexually assaulted near a school yesterday morning.

A police helicopter was seen searching the area after a girl was reported to have been sexually assa

A police helicopter was seen searching the area after a girl was reported to have been sexually assaulted. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: citizenside.com

Essex Police officers were called to a woodland area off Gavin Way in Colchester yesterday, which backs on to the school field of The Gilberd School.

An Essex Police spokesman said the incident happened between 8.30am and 9am, and the force sent a heavy police presence to the area.

Officers made a thorough search of the area, with witnesses reporting the police helicopter was also flying over the scene. However, so far no-one has been arrested.

Colchester mayor and ward councillor Gerard Oxford said: “It’s absolutely appalling. We don’t normally have these sorts of issues going on locally so it’s disturbing.


You may also want to watch:


“I just don’t understand the mentality of people like that.

“Children should be allowed to walk around safely, so it is ultra disturbing.”

Most Read

The girl is being supported by specialist officers, but gave a description of the attacker which has been issued by police.

The man is white, over 5ft 9ins tall, of medium build with short brown, scruffy hair.

He was wearing a navy blue or black thigh-length zipped coat with dark coloured trousers, which were not jeans, and dark brown leather gloves.

Given the proximity of the assault to the school, staff have issued safety advice to students, with an email also sent to parents.

A school spokesman added: “Mrs Exley [headteacher] has also informed other local schools of the incident and our response. The information being given acts as a reminder of the advice routinely given.”

Among the advice is urging youngsters not to walk alone, to avoid secluded areas and keeping parents informed of their whereabouts.

Mr Oxford added: “I am pleased with the police presence in the area because in the last few years we haven’t seen that with the cuts, so I am glad of that [presence]. But the trouble is it is fire fighting [after the incident] so I will be making a call to try and see what can be done.”

Police are investigating and asked anyone with information, who witnessed suspicious activity or has dash cam footage from the road around that time to contact them on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter