Police appeal after woman sexually assaulted in Burnley

Police want to speak to this man in connection with the incident
Police want to speak to this man in connection with the incident

Police want to speak to this man after a woman was sexually assaulted during a robbery in Burnley yesterday.

The incident happened at around 11-40pm when the victim, a 47-year-old local woman, was walking along Healywood Road after becoming separated from her friends after visiting a cashpoint on a night out.

As she got level with the exit to the cinema, she noticed a man following her on the opposite side of the road.

He shouted something at her which she did not hear and then ran towards her making demands for her phone and money.

He then grabbed her handbag but the victim resisted. The man then threatened to sexually assault her, grabbed her chest area and pushed his hand down her trousers. He also made threats to kill her.

She was pulled to the ground and dragged whilst the offender continued to pull at her bag. She eventually lost her grip and he ran off with it.

Acting DI Darren Irving from Burnley CID said: “This incident is more than just a robbery given the sexual assault that the victim endured. I can’t imagine how terrified she must have been. She is being supported by specially trained officers.

“We need to find the man in these images quickly and so I am asking anyone who has seen him or knows who he is to make contact with us as soon as possible.

“I appreciate this will be concerning and I am aware that lots of people will be out enjoying nights out in Burnley this weekend, particularly with it being the festive period, and so my advice would be to go ahead and enjoy yourselves as normal but please remain vigilant and try and stay with groups of friends.

“If you see anyone acting suspiciously or you see this man, please speak to a police officer on the street or call 999 immediately.”

Anyone with information can call Burnley CID on 01282 472119 or 999 quoting incident reference 1587 of December 13th.

Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at socsi.in/qopep.