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20 January 2011, 12:31 | Updated: 20 January 2011, 12:44
A family has made an appeal for information about a man who indecently assaulted their 12-year-old-daughter.
It happened in South Oxhey on Monday, 20th December. The victim was walking along Oxhey Drive when she was grabbed by a man who touched her inappropriately. He then ran off after being disturbed.
The family and the victim can't be identified for legal reasons.
The 12-year-old's mum said:
“We have been in shock following on from what has happened. Nobody ever wants their children to come to any harm and to think that somebody could do this to our daughter, our little girl, fills us with disbelief and horror. It was the week running up to Christmas and as busy as life is then, normal life just stopped for us for a few days following this.
“We have been trying to carry on and deal with this as best as we can but it has been an extremely unpleasant experience for us. It was when they were interviewing our daughter in a specialist interview held by Police afterwards that it really hit home to me as a mother. I just thought, how could somebody do this to someone, particularly a young girl, how could they try to pollute her innocence?
“It was horrible seeing our daughter after it had just happened as she was crying and shaking like a leaf, which is understandable. You go into shock but we are coping. Every time we go past the spot where it happened we find ourselves mentally marking when it happened. It seems so unfair that something like this should happen to her just because she set off ahead of us. We really want this man to be caught.
“I would urge anyone out there who may have any information to come forward, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. Has someone you live with or know started to behave oddly since that date? Was it you who did this? Please come forward. Please try and put yourselves in our situation as parents and stop this man from doing this again.”
The victim's dad said:
“This has been very difficult to cope with and you find yourself replaying it in your mind thinking how and why did that happen or could I have stopped it. I am appealing to anyone with information to contact Police as this man must be stopped. You hear of these things happening but you never expect them to happen to you or a member of your family and when it does it is shocking. I am appealing to anyone with any information at all to please, please come forward. This man needs to be caught. I don’t want anyone going through what we have been through.”
The victim said that life has changed for her since the incident:
“I was in shock and you do think about what happened. I am really wary of when I go out now and I am always looking around me to make sure nobody is watching me, almost like I have an extra sense. I just want this man caught as he cannot be allowed do it to anyone else again.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number on 0845 3300 222.