Has shop sex attacker struck before?

POSSIBLE links between sex attacks on young girls last week and two similar incidents seven months ago are being investigated by detectives, it emerged last night.

Will Clarke

POSSIBLE links between sex attacks on young girls last week and two similar incidents seven months ago are being investigated by detectives, it emerged last night.

Last Tuesday a 10-year-old girl was indecently assaulted at WH Smith in Bury St Edmunds. An hour later a second girl, a 12-year-old, was sexually assaulted at the Warehouse Clearance Store in Anglian Lane.

Yesterday the police confirmed the officers investigating these attacks are liaising with officers involved in a similar case dating back to October last year.

Nobody was ever charged with the offences last October, in which a 12-year-old girl was indecently assaulted at Waterstone's, Bury, and a further 12-year-old girl was similarly assaulted during a separate incident at the Baker's Oven in Newmarket.

But the possibility of all four incidents being linked is now being considered.

Most Read

At the weekend, detectives investigating the most recent attacks poured over reams of CCTV footage from the area at the time of the assaults.

Det Sgt Andy Smith, who is leading the investigation, said officers had worked over the weekend with the victims and their families - as well as trawling through hours of CCTV.

He said: “Footage from both the town centre and the area around Anglian Lane has been obtained and is being viewed, and more is still to be gathered.

“Staff at both shops have been spoken to, as have several witnesses who have come forward as a result of the media appeals we have issued.

“In addition, officers investigating last week's offences, and sexual assaults in Bury and Newmarket last October, are liaising with each other in respect of their inquiries.”

He added that specially-trained officers had liaised with the girls and would continue to support the children and their families after their part in the investigation had concluded.

Police have issued a description and CCTV images of a man they would like to speak in connection with the incidents last week.

He is white, in his 40s, about 5ft 9ins tall, with short but messy brown and greying hair. He was wearing large brown or yellow glasses, a black leather jacket, a brown top and possibly walking boots and black trousers.

Anyone who may have been shopping at either of the shops last Tuesday afternoon should call Bury CID on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers 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