Sexual assault reported in Ashington

Police are appealing for witnesses after a suspected sexual assault on a teenager in Ashington.

It happened between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday, December 4, when a 13-year-old girl was walking along Milburn Road in Ashington.

As she walked on to a footpath to the rear of public toilets, which backs on to Welbeck Terrace, she was approached by a man and pushed against the wall.

The suspect then tried to pull down his trousers but the victim ran off down Milburn Road as far as the Co-op store and the suspect ran off in an unknown direction.

The victim wasn’t injured in the incident but was left distressed. It’s not believed the male exposed himself during the incident.

The assault was reported to police on December 29.

The man is said to be aged about 18, white, about 6ft tall and of skinny build, with brown hair and a long pointed nose.

He smelled of smoke and was wearing a dark hooded top, black woollen gloves and black jogging bottoms.

Police are investigating the circumstances around the incident and are appealing for witnesses to come forward, in particular a group of youths in the area described as aged between 16 and 17 years old, all wearing hooded tops and snoods.

They are also appealing to trace a dog walker seen by the victim moments before she entered the footpath, a man described as white, aged around 65, with grey hair, wearing a brown jacket, checked shirt, dark pants and dark coloured shoes. He was walking a small black dog.

Ashington Neighbourhood Inspector Barrie Joisce said: “This incident was reported to us at the end of December and we’re making enquiries to establish exactly what has happened and speak to witnesses who we believe were in the area at the time.

“Although the victim wasn’t injured she was obviously left distressed and we’re keen to trace this man as soon as possible.

“We’re carrying out additional patrols in the area and would like to reassure people that an incident of this type is unusual for the area.

“I’d appeal for any witnesses or anyone with information to get in touch with police so we can investigate.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 617 29/12/13, of Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111