Appeal to trace man after Burnley sex attack

Ricky Stuart, who police want to speak to after serious sex attack in Burnley (S)
Ricky Stuart, who police want to speak to after serious sex attack in Burnley (S)

POLICE have issued a photograph of a man they want to speak to after a woman was seriously sexually assaulted in Burnley on Thursday night.

The attack took place between 8-30pm and 9-30pm near to the Inn at the Wharf pub, off Manchester Road, and police have issued a photograph of 30-year-old Ricky Stuart who they would like to speak with in connection with the assault.

The 47-year-old victim, who is from Liverpool, was out drinking with small a group of friends at the Inn at the Wharf. After leaving alone she was subjected to a serious sexual assault. The man also stole her handbag containing her HTC mobile phone, cash and some personal items.

Det. Insp. Marie Haworth, from Burnley CID, said: “This is a serious offence which has understandably left the victim traumatised.

“An investigation is underway but I would appeal to anybody that thinks they have seen Ricky Stuart or knows of his current whereabouts to contact Lancashire Police.

“Ricky is from the Nottingham area but we know he leads a transient lifestyle so although he could still be in the Burnley area, he could be anywhere in the UK.

“I’d reassure people that we have stepped up patrols in the area and have a dedicated team of officers working hard to catch the man responsible, but anyone with any information that could assist our investigation should contact police.”

Ricky is bald, and was possibly wearing a short dark jacket and a beanie hat.

In addition to Nottingham he has previously lived in the Yorkshire area, specifically Wakefield, Leeds, Rotherham, Sheffield and Bradford. He has also spent time in Bristol, Plymouth, Hove and Southampton.

People with information can call police on 101 Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.