Manhunt after brutal sex attack

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl was subjected to a brutal sex attack in broad daylight as she walked along a well-used footpath with a young friend.

Dave Gooderham

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl was subjected to a brutal sex attack in broad daylight as she walked along a well-used footpath with a young friend.

Detectives have launched a manhunt following the frightening incident in Haverhill yesterday afternoon.

The victim, and her 12-year-old friend who managed to flee the attacker, were described as “extremely traumatised” and have been offered specialist counselling.


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The two girls were walking along the town's old railway line when they were suddenly grabbed from behind. A police spokesman said one of the youngsters managed to free herself and alert police. The other was dragged into the bushes and “seriously sexually assaulted” before she pushed the man away.

Police have launched an urgent appeal for information and are continuing inquiries. Parts of the old railway line remain cordoned off 24 hours after the shocking incident.

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Det Insp Martin Wright, who is leading the investigation on behalf of Suffolk police's major investigation team, said: “This was a frightening attack on two young girls, both were extremely traumatised by their ordeal and are receiving any help they may need from specially trained officers.

“The offender was audacious enough to carry out this serious sexual assault in broad daylight along a well-used path, and I want to hear from anyone who was in the area of the old railway line between Wratting Road and Water's Edge early yesterday afternoon.”

The girls were walking along the old railway line after visiting the town centre at about 1.50pm yesterday. They passed a man sitting on a bench near Dove House Road and continued to walk towards Arrendene Road before the same man walked past them as they approached the bridge near Water's Edge.

The attacker, who ran off towards newly-built flats close by, has been described as white, in his 20s or 30s, with short dark hair and wearing sunglasses, blue jeans, a white tee-shirt and trainers.

Anyone with any information should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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