An investigation has been launched and we are appealing for information following a sexual assault on a teenager in Burnley.
At around 4pm yesterday (Tuesday, May 26th) the victim had been walking along the canal path from Westgate, and was entering the steps adjacent to Cooper Street, when she was approached from behind by a male. He subjected her to a violent assault before touching her inappropriately.
She then kicked the male and at the same time she believes a member of the public may have appeared, walking nearby. At that point the offender made off back towards the canal path and the victim ran off to get help.
The victim – aged 17 – was left with numerous cuts and bruises and severe swelling to her face and shoulder.
The offender is described as a white male, around 5ft 8ins/9ins tall, of average build and with dark hair. He was wearing dark joggers and earphones.
We are now urging anybody with information about the assault – including the member of the public who may have appeared on the scene – to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
DS Sarah Hargreaves, of Burnley Police, said: “A teenage girl has been grabbed and assaulted in broad daylight. As a result of this she has suffered some nasty injuries, as well as being left extremely shaken. Clearly we are taking this very seriously and an investigation is underway.
“We are determined to find the person responsible and are now asking for the public’s help. We believe a member of the public may have appeared and scared off the offender, and we would like to trace them and speak to them as they might hold information that is important to our investigation.
“We would also like to hear from anyone else who was in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious, or anyone who thinks they may know who is responsible. Whatever information you have, we would ask you to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
“We appreciate this will have caused some concern in the community but we are working extremely hard on this investigation and in the meantime will have extra patrols in the area for reassurance. Anybody with concerns is welcome to speak to those officers.”
Anybody with information is asked to get in touch on 101, quoting log number 1208 of May 26th. Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.