HAILSHAM: Mystery of girl’s late night ordeal

A MYSTERY man may hold the clue to what happened to a teenage girl in Hailsham last weekend.

The 16-year-old girl says she remembers talking to a man in Stoney Lane in the town centre and having some of his drink at around 3am on Sunday, but nothing after that until she woke up in the lane between 5am and 6am.

Detectives now want to talk to the man who they say may know what happened to the girl on the night in question and have issued a description of him.

Police were called in after the girl’s friends made an emergency call when she turned up on their doorstep between 5am and 6am saying she did not know what had happened to her.

She has told officers she had been in the Corn Exchange earlier. She left the pub, started talking to the man and had some of his drink that he was holding in a tall glass with a straw.

She remembers nothing afterwards until she woke up in the lane.

Detective Inspector Rob Morland said, “We are in the early stages of investigating this incident and have yet to obtain a full account from the victim, who is being offered continued support from specialist officers.

“I should like to stress we have not yet been able to clarify what happened to the girl and it is possible that the explanation for her predicament is entirely innocent.

“However, this man who she remembers talking to after she had been socialising at the Corn Exchange earlier in the evening could well provide the answer and we are very keen to talk to him.

“He is white, in his 20s, around 6’, of muscular build, but with a big belly and chubby cheeks. He has a distinctive nose that points upwards, large ears and a dark monobrow.

“He was wearing a light-coloured Fred Perry short-sleeved shirt that was buttoned to the top, light blue trousers tucked into his socks and Nike black and grey trainers.

“I should like to thank local residents for their support while a forensic examination of the scene, which is towards the Common Pond end of Stoney Lane, takes place and neighbourhood officers conduct house-to-house inquiries as part of the investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Hull or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.