Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Havant teenager sexually assaulted in woods

Police tape in Leigh Park estate
Image caption Police have cordoned off the area and are appealing for witnesses

A 17-year-old girl has been seriously sexually assaulted in the woods of a Hampshire housing estate.

The girl was walking in Leigh Park, Havant, on Thursday when a man dressed in dark clothing grabbed and assaulted her between 22:00 and 22:45 GMT.

Hampshire Police said the man was last seen walking towards Battens Way from the woods. It is not known how long he was in the woods for before the attack.

Police have cordoned off the area and are appealing for witnesses.

Local accent

Insp Debbie Masson said: "We understand people will be worried about reports of an offence of this nature.

"We will be increasing patrols in the area over the weekend and our teams will be on hand to answer any questions the community has and offer reassurance.

"Serious offences like this are not common in this area and at this stage we are not linking it to any other incidents.

"You may see increased police presence in the area over the next few days as we step up patrols and continue to investigate this crime."

The attacker is described as white, about 6ft tall, of medium build and aged in his 20s.

He spoke with a local accent, and wore black tracksuit bottoms and a black hooded jacket.

Det Insp Dave Sackman said: "This incident has obviously left the victim very shaken, but she has been able to give officers this description of her attacker.

"Several potential witnesses have already come forward and I would appeal for anyone else who was in the area near the time of the offence or who recognises the description of the man to contact us."

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