Appeal For Witnesses To A Sexual Assault

23 July 2010, 10:32 | Updated: 23 July 2010, 10:38

Police are urgently trying to trace a passer by who witnessed a sexual assault in Southampton during the early hours of this morning (Friday July 23).

A 21-year-old woman was walking home along Bevois Valley Road between 4.30am and 5.10am when she was approached by a black man outside the Helibeds store.
The man forced the victim to the ground and she fell on her back. She fought with her attacker for a few minutes as he tried to sexually assault her, but she managed to struggle to her feet and run off.
While her attacker was holding her down, the woman noticed a man walking on the opposite side of Bevois Valley Road towards Southampton city centre, who glanced over at the pair but did not stop.
Police are urgently trying to trace this man. He is described as white, possibly aged in his 30s.
The attacker is described as:
Black man
shaved head
average build
about 6ft tall
described as having an evil looking face
wearing red hoody
slight south London accent
possibly aged in his 20s
The area around the scene of the assault remains cordoned off this morning while detectives carry out further enquiries.
Det Insp Dave Jackson at Bitterne CID, said: “This woman was walking home after a night out with friends and was approached by this man. 
“I have no doubt that the passer by walking nearby on the opposite side of the road probably disturbed the attacker and allowed the victim to struggle free. I would appeal directly to him to come forward and speak to police as he may have vital information which could help us with our enquiries.”
Anyone who witnessed the assault or has any information is asked to contact Bitterne CID on 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.