Manhunt for midnight sex attacker

editorial image

Police have launched a manhunt after a woman was was sexually assaulted by a hooded attacker

The woman, 56, was walking home from the Bay Horse Pub, in Thornton, at around midnight on Saturday and had crossed the car park behind the Co-op store before going down a ginnel which runs between Lawson’s Road and Alder Close.

She told police at the end of the ginnel she became aware of a man and that she may have been hit on the head. She carried on walking on to Alder Close when the male reached across her shoulder and touched her chest.

She fell to the ground and was sexually assaulted by the man.

The attacker, who may have been disturbed, then ran off up Elmwood Drive towards Briar Road.

He is described as white, late 30s, 6ft 1ins, possibly with stubble on his face and wearing a dark tracksuit with the hood pulled up.

Detectives have launched an investigation and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

They are particularly keen to speak to a man who stopped to ask if the victim was all right after the assault.

Police have increased patrols in the area and are also warning that women consider their safety and order a taxi or arrange a lift home rather than walking home alone.

Det Con Neil Smith said: “This was a traumatic incident for a woman walking home from a night out and I would appeal for anyone with information to get in touch.

“I am especially keen to hear from someone who stopped to speak to the victim and ask if she was OK.

“While incidents such as this are relatively rare I would urge women in the area to take extra care and not to walk home alone at night.”

Anyone with information should contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 0280 of Saturday, August 9 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.