Hunt for sex attacker who left woman terrified in Leigh Park woods

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POLICE are hunting a sex attacker who is still at large after assaulting a woman in woodland.

Hampshire Constabulary received a call at 8.43am yesterday to High Lawn Way, Leigh Park.

CLOSED A PCSO stands guard of the shut footpath

CLOSED A PCSO stands guard of the shut footpath

A woman, aged in her 20s, had been assaulted by a man while walking on a footpath through Great Copse Woods between High Lawn Way and Dunsbury Way.

She was punched and kicked by the man who also indecently touched her.

The terrified woman was able to get away from her attacker.

She was left upset and shaken, but was not seriously injured.

A police helicopter was circling the estate yesterday morning as officers attempted to track down the offender.

Searches are continuing for a suspect described as a white man, aged in his 20s, of pale complexion, about 5ft 7in tall, of muscular build, and with short, light blonde hair.

He was wearing a yellow T-shirt and blue jeans.

Chief Inspector Alison Heydari, Havant and Waterlooville District Commander, said: ‘Specialist officers are working with the woman to establish the full details of what happened.

‘At this time, this is the only assault of this nature reported to us in Leigh Park recently. It is not being linked to any other crimes.

‘House-to-house enquiries are being carried out and I would like to thank members of the public who have given us useful information.

‘We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw a man matching the suspect description in the High Lawn Way and Dunsbury Way area before 9am on Friday.’

‘Our advice is to be alert but not alarmed.’

Schools in the area were informed about the assault as a precaution.

Mum-of-two Katy Worthington, 31, whose children attend Riders Infant and Junior School, received a text reporting an incident had happened in the local area and to collect her children as normal at 3pm.

She said: ‘It makes me scared.

‘I’m worried and anxious. It’s the fact that the children could be at risk.’

A staff member at the school said: ‘We have sent to a text to parents as a precaution.’

A woman living near the woods was questioned by police after walking her dogs there at about 7.30am.

She told The News: ‘I didn’t see or hear a thing. There have been assaults in the past.

‘I was flashed once. I am not shocked.

‘There’s an awful lot of foliage – it’s quite dense and hiding away is no problem.

‘It’s a shame it’s happened because it’s beautiful woodland to walk in.’

Anyone with information should call police on 101.