Three Cleveland bus sexual assaults 'linked'

CCTV image. Photo: Cleveland Police
Image caption Police would like to speak to this man who was captured on CCTV

Three sexual assaults on buses in Cleveland are believed to be linked, police have said.

A man got on the number 63 bus at Middlesbrough station at 18:00 GMT on Monday and touched a girl, 16, after sitting next to her.

Cleveland Police believe the same man could also be responsible for similar offences in Stockton and Hartlepool in the last four weeks.

He is described as black or Arabic, about 5ft 8in tall and aged 30 to 40.

The man was wearing a black cap and a chequered grey shirt with white stripes underneath his coat, and spoke with a foreign accent.

Officers have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to about the incidents.

On 7 November between 16:00 and 16:30 GMT, a similar incident took place after a man sat next to a girl, also 16, on a bus travelling from Norton to Hartlepool.

After attempting to befriend her, he kissed and touched her before getting off the bus at Hartlepool Marina.

He was described as wearing a cap, green t-shirt and black trousers.

The first incident happened on 31 October between 10:30 and 10:40 GMT when a man sat next to a 20-year-old woman on a bus, again trying to befriend her before touching her body.

He was wearing a beige jumper and jeans, and had a silver chain around his neck. He got off the bus on Stockton High Street.

Anyone with any information, or who may have witnessed one of the incidents, is asked to contact police.

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