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POLICE are trying to trace two women who are thought to have scared off a sex attacker.

An 18-year-old woman was allegedly attacked in the car park in Civic Centre Way, near Fareham Borough Council’s offices.

The incident happened at around 7pm on Christmas Eve.

A man approached the teenager and grabbed her before sexually assaulting her, police say.

Two women then walked past, frightening her attacker away.

The two women went to help the victim but they left the scene before the police arrived.

Now officers are keen to speak to them about what they saw.

Police say they are treating the pair as crucial witnesses.

Detective Constable Pete Lavin, of Gosport CID, said: ‘We would like to hear from these two ladies as they are crucial witnesses to this incident.

‘We know they stopped to ask the victim if she was okay so hopefully they will remember this incident and come forward.’

The women are asked to contact Gosport CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

· David Sutherland, of Trinity Street, Fareham, was charged with attempted rape following the alleged attack.

The 24-year-old did not enter a plea when he appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on December 26.

He was remanded in custody during the brief hearing and was due to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court today.

Sutherland was due in court for a preliminary hearing and was not set to enter a plea.