Attempted sexual attack on Ashington teenager

Witnesses are being sought after an attempted sexual attack on a teenager in Ashington.

Police are appealing for witnesses after the offence at 7.40pm on Thursday, January 9, when a 17-year-old girl was walking in the rear lane of Seventh Avenue behind the Chinese takeaway.

As she was walking a man grabbed hold of her coat hood and tried to pull her backwards. The victim shouted at him and as a vehicle entered the area the man was disturbed and ran off.

The teenager was shocked but unhurt.

The suspect is described as white, aged between 20 and 30 years old, around 5ft 11ins tall of medium build, with dark facial stubble, a long pointed nose and he spoke with a local accent. He was wearing a dark hooded top with the hood up and he smelled strongly of smoke.

The incident follows a previous sexual assault which took place at Milburn Road on December 4 at around 7.45pm when a 13-year-old girl was assaulted by a man of a similar description.

Officers are currently making enquiries to establish if the two offences are linked.

Neighbourhood Inspector Barrie Joisce said: “We’re doing everything we can to trace this man and to establish whether the two incidents are linked.

“Additional, high profile patrols are taking place in the area to reassure residents and carry out enquiries to trace the man involved.

“While we know this may have caused concerns, I’d like to reassure the community that incidents such as this are unusual and I’d urge anyone with any concerns to speak with their local officers.

“I’d urge people to be vigilant, particularly in the evening, and report anything or anyone unusual or suspicious to police straight away.

“Anyone who has information about either of these offences or who this man is asked to contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 1173 09/01/14, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.