Hunt for sex attacker stepped up

DETECTIVES have pledged to increase patrols and continue house-to-house enquiries in a Suffolk town as they step up their hunt for a man who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.

Dave Gooderham

DETECTIVES have pledged to increase patrols and continue house-to-house enquiries in a Suffolk town as they step up their hunt for a man who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.

A renewed appeal for witnesses has also been issued three weeks after the girl was attacked as she walked with a young friend along the old railway line in Haverhill.

While revealing that an earlier direct appeal had proved successful, and that officers were even being stopped in the street by people offering information, the attacker remains at large.


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Acting Detective Inspector Trevor Prior, from Suffolk police's major investigation team, said they were still keen to speak to two children - a boy riding a red bike and a girl on a pink bike with stabilisers - who they believe might have information about the incident on July 24.

They were with a woman with brown, straight shoulder-length hair, of slim build, who was also possibly on a bike. Three teenage boys, casually dressed in jeans and trainers, one of whom had spiky brown hair and wearing a dark blue hooded top and trainers, might also be key witnesses, police admitted.

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DI Prior said: “If you are one of these people, please get in touch whether you think you saw anything of significance or not. And if you are not one of these people, but you were using the old railway line between 1pm and 2.30pm that afternoon and you haven't spoken to a police officer, I would urge you to call us.”

The victim and her 12-year-old friend were both grabbed from behind as they walked along the old railway line at about 1.50pm. One of the girls managed to free herself and alerted police but the other was pulled into the bushes and seriously sexually assaulted. She eventually managed to push her attacker away and run from the scene.

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

Anyone with information should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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