E-fit released of Eastbourne sexual assault suspect

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POLICE have released an E-fit image of the man they believe sexually assaulted a jogger in Eastbourne.

The assault on a 30-year-old woman happened just before 10.15am on Sunday (September 16) in Hartfield Road.

The woman was not from Sussex but was staying with relatives in the town and was out jogging in Hartfield Road when she was sexually assaulted by a man who then ran off.

She sustained minor cuts and bruises during a brief struggle with the man, and did not need hospital treatment but was very shaken and upset by the incident.

The suspect is described as olive skinned, in his late teens or early twenties, about 5’8” or slightly taller, and of slim build with dark hair in a distinctive pudding bowl style. He was carrying a rucksack

Detective Sergeant Gavin Patch said, “Although the assault lasted only a matter of seconds, it was a serious attack and we are carrying out intensive local enquiries to try to identify this man.

“We are considering the possibility that the same man may also have been responsible for two similar incidents in the town at the end of last month.”

At about 3.20pm on August 26 a 48-year old local woman was walking into Mountney Road from Green Street in the Old Town area when a man approached from behind and carried out a brief sexual assault. She screamed and he ran off. She was unhurt.

And at about 10.45am on August 27 an 81-year old local woman was walking along Dittons Road when a man approached her and lifted her skirt before running off. She too was unhurt.

Inspector Rachel Barrow said, “Although no serious injury was caused in any of these incidents they are of great concern to us and whilst they are being investigated we are carrying out extra patrols in the areas concerned. These are unusual though worrying incidents and we are working hard to find the offender and to reassure the local community that they are isolated events.”

Sergeant Patch added, “If you saw the man in the Hartfield Road area, just off Upperton Road, on Sunday morning, or have any other information about that or the previous two incidents, please contact us.”

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting Operation Sullivan. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 55 111.