Young child sexually assaulted in town

A young child has been sexually assaulted in Ashington.

Police are appealing for information after the incident was reported to have happened between 4.45pm and 5.30pm on Friday, December 5, in a rear lane off Queen Street.

The young girl was approached by a man who touched her inappropriately before leaving the area.

Enquiries are ongoing and officers are appealing for information.

Northumberland Superintendent Mick Paterson said: “This is a very serious allegation of sexual assault on a young child and enquiries are ongoing to find out exactly what took place and who is responsible.

“We arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with the incident and he has been bailed pending further enquiries.

“We’ve had officers in the area since the report came into us on Friday and we will continue to have a presence in the area while we carry out enquiries.

“Specialist officers are working with the child and their family and offering them support at this time.

“We have to take a sensitive approach around the investigation due to the child’s young age and we are still going through a process to establish exactly what has happened.

“From the child’s early account we have a very basic description of the offender and we are keen to hear from anyone who might have seen a man in the area around Queen Street described as being of large build, in his late 30s to early 40s and white but with quite a tanned or dark complexion. He had stubble and was wearing glasses.

“He also may have been wearing a black coat with white circles on it and black tracksuit bottoms.

“We are checking CCTV in the area and speaking to local residents to try and get as much information from them as possible. If anyone knows who might be responsible for this incident I’d ask they contact police straight away.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference number 1024 05/12/14 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.