Police appeal for witnesses after attempted rape of woman in Witham

A pathway off Bramble Road, Witham, cordoned off after an incident in August 2014. Picture: SU ANDER

A pathway off Bramble Road, Witham, cordoned off after an incident in August 2014. Picture: SU ANDERSON/ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Su Anderson

A woman was able to fight off a man who attempted to rape her in Witham this morning.

The victim, aged in her 20s, was walking in an alleyway near to Bramble Road, at around 8.45am, when a man approached her from behind before physically assaulting her.

During the altercation, she was able to fight him off and the man ran off in the direction of the park next to Bramble Road.

The woman is believed to have suffered minor injuries in the incident.

The man is described as in his 40s, white, around 6ft tall, and of stocky build. He had dark, bushy eyebrows and short, shaved dark hair.

He wore a black puffed jacket with a hood and bright blue denim jeans, and carried a grey and black backpack.

The victim described him as speaking with a foreign accent.

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Detective Inspector Mark Barber, said: “We want to hear from anyone who was near the location of the incident this morning, or who since then believes they may have seen the suspect.

“The woman has been subjected to an awful ordeal today, and is being supported by specially trained officers.

“Please get in touch with us immediately if you have information which can help our enquiries.

“We have officers in the area conducting house to house enquiries, and would like to offer reassurance that this is being treated as an isolated incident.

“Witham is a safe place to live and incidents like this are very unusual.”

Patrick Horner, town and district councillor for the area, said: “Something like this happening at 8.45am is a real surprise.

“It’s generally a nice area and this is an unusual occurrence, I can’t think of anything like that happening.

“We keep the streetlights on at night for people coming back late from London, and even then we have not had anything like that happen.”

• Anyone with information is asked to contact Essex Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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