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New leads in hunt for gang of boys who surrounded teen before she was sexually assaulted

PUBLISHED: 13:12 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:14 05 October 2018

The attack happened in Orwell Place, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE

The attack happened in Orwell Place, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE

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Detectives investigating a ‘despicable’ sexual assault carried out when a group of boys surrounded a teenage girl in Ipswich, say they have new leads to follow-up.

Suffolk police carried out checks around Orwell Place yesterday – two weeks after the 17-year-old girl was attacked.

She had been walking along Rope Walk, near to the junction with Dover Street, between 4.30-5pm, on Thursday, September 20, when a group of five or six boys surrounded her and followed her towards the town centre.

As they crossed Grimwade Street and continued along Rope Walk towards Eagle Street, they are said to have begun acting and speaking in an inappropriate manner towards her.

Despite being told to stop, they continued with their behaviour. When they reached Orwell Place, one of the boys sexually assaulted the girl. She then ran across the road into Tacket Street and escaped.

Det Con Jenny Devine said: “We are very grateful to all the members of the public who took the time to stop and speak to us yesterday and as a result of this we have a number of further enquiries to undertake from the information we received.

“This was a despicable assault against a 17-year-old girl who was just walking along and minding her own business. These boys are old enough to know what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, and it deeply concerns me that children who are potentially only 12 years-old would gang-up on and assault a girl in this way.

“We are determined to identify the individuals responsible and I am urging anyone who believes they know who they are, or who has any information about this incident, to make contact with us.”

The suspects are described as being white with tanned complexions and aged around 12 to 13 years-old and. One of them was riding a bicycle and another one was using a push scooter.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time, and who saw a group of boys following a teenage girl, to make contact.

Anyone with information about this assault, or any motorists driving along any of the roads stated above with a dash cam fitted in their vehicle, are asked to contact the South Safeguarding Unit on 101 quoting reference 54160/18, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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