Police believe a man alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman on a grassy area near the bus station in the early hours of Sunday may have targeted other women.Advertisement
Detectives have released new CCTV of the man they are now treating as a suspect in a bid to trace the attacker.
The incident occurred at around 4:20am on Sunday (September 22nd) when the victim, 18, became separated from her friends and walked along Lancaster Road from Church Street.
She met a man at the junction of Harris Street, at the side of Sessions House and after a brief interaction they walked onto Lord Street, where the woman was attacked.
The man walked off but returned to the area a few minutes later and tried to talk to the victim. He then headed back on to Lancaster Road.
Following enquiries, officers believe he may have approached other women in the city centre during the evening and early hours.
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DI Fiona Jackson from Preston Police said: “It is important that we find this man as soon as possible and so I am asking anyone who may have seen him or knows who he is, to contact us immediately.
“We know that roughly between 3am and 5am, he has been walking around the city centre and has headed towards the train station where he stayed for a short while.”
Nightsafe patrols will be in the city centre over the weekend and so we are encouraging anyone who has concerns about their safety or thinks they have seen this man to approach them.
DI Jackson continued: “We know that attacks of this type are rare and whilst we want people to carry on and enjoy their nights out, we are still asking them to remain vigilant, consider their personal safety and remain in groups of friends.”
The suspect is described as possibly Asian, around 5ft 6ins to 5ft 8ins, of medium build with a stubbly beard and dark, spiky, fluffy hair. He was wearing a light coloured jacket.
Anyone with information can call 01772 209702 or if you fail to get an answer, 101, quoting incident reference 323 of September 22nd. Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.