A YOUNG woman managed to escape the clutches of an attacker by hitting him round the head with her mobile phone.
She was walking home after work at 5.45pm last Saturday when she realised a man was following her closely behind.
She was in Station Street, near Portsmouth city centre, when the man struck, grabbing at the hem of her skirt in a bid to pull it up.
The 23-year-old said: ‘I’d just left work and it was a bright evening. I realised the man had been following me and when he was about half a foot away I turned round, thinking that he was trying to get past me. I didn’t think he was going to attack me.’
She was speaking to her friend on her mobile when the man pounced. She said: ‘He grabbed the back of my skirt and tried and tried to lift it up.
‘I grabbed his wrist. Because I was on the phone I only had one hand and my friend could hear what was going on. He kept trying to pull it up. I shouted and swore at him forcefully but it did not make any difference.
‘He did not say a word while it was happening but he was intent not to let go. I was shouting at him to get off me but he just would not give up.
‘I had my phone in my hand and hit him over the head with it three times and he eventually let go.
‘He ran off in the direction of Arundel Street where the Highbury College building is and I shouted after him that I was going to call the police.’
Despite the time of day and being close to the city centre, no one else was around as the attack took place.
Police have now released an e-fit of the man and hope it may prompt someone’s memory.
She added: ‘I don’t know what his intentions were if I had not been able to struggle or shout.
‘I’m still very, very angry about it. That’s the main thing. And I do feel uncomfortable. I’ve been driving to work instead of walking.’
The suspect is white, in his 50s, 5ft 6in, skinny, with short straight mostly grey-hair flecked with dark brown and slightly receding. He had light coloured ‘staring’ eyes and a pale thin face.
He wore a burgundy or maroon round-necked short-sleeved T-shirt under a beige fishing-type vest or waistcoat with lots of pockets.
Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen him. Call Fratton police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.