Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Three women assaulted in nine hours in Southampton

Three women were indecently assaulted in Southampton within a nine-hour period, police said.

The attacker targeted the lone women walking in the city between 22:00 on Tuesday and 07:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Police are keeping an "open mind" over whether the offences were committed by one man and if they are linked to previous offences in the city.

The attacker is described as Asian or white, aged 25 to 35, about 5ft 4in, of medium build and with short dark hair.

The first victim, a 20-year-old, was walking in Portswood Road at 22:00 on Tuesday when a man put his arms around her waist.

She pushed him off and carried on walking. But the man followed her into Grosvenor Road, where he pushed her against a wall and indecently assaulted her.

Knife used

A 19-year-old woman was later grabbed by a man as she walked past the Vauxhall dealership on Bannister Road at about 01:30 GMT.

He pulled the victim into the car park of The Lodge block of flats where she was indecently assaulted. She believes the attacker held a knife against her before being disturbed by passers-by.

In the third incident, a 25-year-old woman was indecently assaulted by a man who grabbed her outside the main pedestrian entrance to the Matalan store in Havelock Road, at about 06:30 GMT.

Det Insp Dave Morgan said: "All of these incidents are likely to be pre-meditated and the offender has preyed on lone women who he has identified as being vulnerable, subjecting them to an assault which has caused them significant distress."

Detectives want to trace the group that disturbed the attacker in Bannister Road.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hampshire Constabulary.

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