Sexual assault on young woman in Brighton being linked to earlier incident

Man struck unconscious and robbed in Crawley Memorial Gardens

Police in Brighton looking for a man who sexually assaulted a young woman on her way home at the weekend believe he could also be responsible for a similar assault in the city earlier this year.

Officers are investigating after a 19-year-old was approached by a man in Marine Parade on 5.30am on Sunday (October, 6), who tried to engage her in conversation.

Police said he then attacked her at the junction of Seymour Street, but she resisted and managed to struggle free before running off.

DI Duncan Elliott, of the Brighton Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said:

“This was a very frightening experience for the woman, who is receiving support and assistance from specialist officers.

“It is vital that we trace this man and an intensive investigation began immediately on Sunday morning.”

The incident is being linked to an attack on a 22-year-old woman in July in Ditchling Road, according to the force.

Police said the victim was approached by a man of a similar description, who also tried to engage her in conversation at the junction of Princes Crescent, before sexually assaulting her.

The victim resisted, according to officers, and he made off towards London Road.

The man has been described as of mixed race, tall and in his late 30s, with flat black afro-style hair and wearing square-rimmed glasses.

DI Elliott added:

“We have carried out very thorough and detailed enquiries into this attack including visits to all addresses in the vicinity, and the victim has also been receiving support from specialist officers, but so far the assailant has not been traced.

“From the descriptions in each case, and the circumstances of the attacks, including other information, we believe they may well be linked.

“However, they are isolated incidents and not part of any wider pattern.

“Our investigations are continuing and our patrolling officers are paying extra attention to the areas involved and anyone with concerns can speak to them at any time.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference number 208 of 24/07 for the incident in July, or 293 of 06/10 for the most recent incident.