Village in fear after sex attack

By Patrick LowmanFEARS are growing in a village where a teenage girl was indecently assaulted following a number of complaints of a man acting suspiciously.

By Patrick Lowman

FEARS are growing in a village where a teenage girl was indecently assaulted following a number of complaints of a man acting suspiciously.

Detectives investigating the attack on the 13-year-old in Acton are becoming increasingly concerned after receiving further reports of a man acting suspiciously in the village.

Residents have now been warned to be on their guard and to contact the police immediately if they see anything suspicious.


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The schoolgirl was dragged into a bush, punched in the stomach and indecently assaulted as she walked home alone just after midnight on June 22.

The girl had just parted company with a friend and was walking along an alleyway running from Vicarage Lane to Vicarage Road when she was attacked.

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A number of people in the village have since come forward to say they have seen a man acting suspiciously.

On one occasion, a couple were walking along a footpath in the village when they saw a man acting strangely and bouncing back and forward on his feet in front of them.

Det Con Gary Scott, who is leading the investigation, said: “During our investigations we have had a number of people coming forward to report this person who has been acting suspiciously.

“All the reports have been around a similar timescale, so it is obviously causing us some concern. Obviously we are continuing with our inquiries and while we want people to remain vigilant, we don't want them to panic.

“We have to remember what happened is very rare. Obviously this was a terrible experience for a young girl, but she is trying to come to terms with it and realises it could have been much worse.”

The situation is now starting to cause concern amongst the small, tight-knit community.

Parish chairman Chris Moss said: “Anything that affects the safety of the people in the village is very worrying, irrelevant of age or sex.

“I take my granddaughter to school everyday and people are talking about it and are concerned for the safety of their children.

“I can't ever remember anything like this ever happening in Acton before, it is so unusual. Hopefully, it is a one-off and will not happen again.

“In the meantime I would urge people to take the advice of the police and remain vigilant.”

The attacker is described as a white man, aged about 20, about 5ft 7in tall and wearing dark jeans, a dark, long-sleeved hooded top and a baseball cap.

Anyone with information should contact Det Con Gary Scott on 01284 774334 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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