Scratched face clue in Chelmsford sex attack

A man who attempted to rape a woman in Chelmsford could have scratches on his face from his victim, police have said.

The attacker, believed to be about 25, may have been injured enough to draw blood during the attack in New Street on Thursday.

He punched a 28-year-old woman in the face and tried to rape her while she was on the ground.

He is described as white, 5ft 8in (1.73m), with short cropped brown hair and was wearing a dark knitted jumper

The woman was treated for facial injuries including an injured eye.

Det Supt Ewen Wilson said: "We want to hear from any relatives, friends or acquaintances of any man of this description who was in the Chelmsford area and has received scratches to his face since Thursday morning."

Police have warned women not to walk home alone and to be "absolutely vigilant" about personal safety following the attack and two other sexual assaults in Chelmsford.

At about 05:30 GMT on Thursday, a woman reported being grabbed from behind as she walked along the Bunny Walks near the Riverside retail park.

She screamed and the man ran off.

In the early hours of Saturday a woman was sexually assaulted outside Chelmsford Cathedral while waiting to meet a friend.

She pushed the attacker away and raised the alarm at a nearby bar.

Police are not linking the three incidents.

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