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Appeal following sexual assault in Thornton

News   •   Mar 09, 2019 13:00 GMT

We are appealing for information after a woman was reportedly sexually assaulted in Thornton on Friday (8 March).

At around 2.50pm, the victim – a woman in her 30s - was walking from Runnells Lane, turning left onto Edge Lane. As she was near the farm sign, a man passed her in the opposite direction and then stopped, turning to follow her.

He approached from behind and touched her inappropriately before running away in the direction of Thornton.

The woman, although uninjured, has been left shaken following her ordeal.

The offender is described as a white male, 5ft 7in tall, around 25 years old, of medium build, with sandy blonde hair. He was wearing a blue coat and a multi-coloured snood or scarf.

Enquiries are ongoing in the local area and CCTV and dashcam footage is being sought.

Detective Inspector Lee Wilkinson said: "I would like to reassure the community that this type of incident is thankfully rare and we are taking this report extremely seriously.

"Enquiries are ongoing to locate this offender and I’m particularly keen to speak to anyone who was in the Runnells Lane or Lydiate Lane area of Thornton at around 2.50pm yesterday, Friday. You may have witnessed the incident, a man matching the offender’s description or have dashcam footage from passing through the area. Any information, however small it may seem, could prove to be a vital piece of information to the investigation.

“The woman in this case has been extremely brave in coming forward to police and I would like to say to victims of this type of crime that we have specially trained officers who will treat victims with compassion and sensitivity, if you can find the courage to come forward.

“Everyone should feel free to walk the streets without the fear of something like this happening to them, and we will do everything we can to put the man responsible before the courts.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident, has any information or CCTV or dashcam footage is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 19100097788 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.