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5 February 2015, 12:00 | Updated: 5 February 2015, 15:02
Police say a woman and her child were tied up and threatened with a knife during a burglary in Bridgwater.
It happened between 7.50am and 8.15am on Wednesday 21 January when a man went into a house in the Dunwear Lane area of Sydenham, through an insecure door.
While inside, the man tied up the woman and child and a sexual assault also took place.
The man, who was wearing a balaclava-type mask over his face, demanded money and jewellery but it's believe he left empty-handed.
Senior Investigating Officer Det Ch Insp Andy Williams said:''We're treating this as an horrific incident in which a mother and her child were tied up and threatened at knifepoint by an unknown man.
''An offence of this gravity will naturally cause concern in the local community and I'd like to reassure people that we've got a team of experienced detectives and officers working on the case.
''We're looking after the victims who've been through an horrendous ordeal and are giving them all the help and support they need.
''During the course of our inquiry we've carried out house-to-house enquiries at more than 250 properties and are following up on any leads resulting from these visits.
''It's likely there will be an ongoing police presence as we continue making enquiries to piece together what happened.
''My team has already received a number of potential sightings and information which could indicate the offender's movements following the incident.''
A man matching the offender's description was seen by a witness in Dunwear Lane at around 8.12am.
He was then seen running towards the junction of Westonzoyland Road, he turns left into Westonzoyland Road and disappears from sight.
A man is seen on CCTV by St John and St Francis Primary School, a fence was broken in St Davids Court, possibly around the time this incident happened and a knife linked to the inquiry has been found in a garden in Somerville Way.
''The offender had his face covered but I'm urging people to look at the following description and think about whether they saw someone matching it on the morning of Wednesday 21 January, or at any point during the day of the incident or the days before.
''Equally if you know someone who wears clothing similar to those worn by the offender was wearing, we'd like to speak to you.''
The offender is described as white, between 25 and 60 years old and wearing a yellow high vis fluorescent jacket.
He was also wearing a black or dark grey mask or face covering with holes for the eyes and mouth - over the facial covering was a grey hood, dark coloured tracksuit trousers with an elasticated bottom and white trainers.
If you can help the investigation, please call 101 and quote log number 207 of today (05/02).
If you don't want to speak to police or would like to remain anonymous, please call the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.