Police appeal renewed after young woman sexually assaulted in Hastings

Police in Hastings investigating a sexual assault on a woman on a footpath in the town have renewed their appeal for information from the public.

The 18-year-old woman was walking along the path leading from Strood Road to Alexandra Park, Hastings, at about 7pm on Thursday (July 11) when she was attacked and sexually assaulted by a man who then made off on foot in the direction of Asda at Silverhill.

Police said she was left shaken by the incident, and has been receiving support from specially trained officers.

Following police enquiries an 18-year-old man from St Leonards was arrested the following day on suspicion of sexual assault.

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Police said after being interviewed he was released on police bail while enquiries continued, but he has now been eliminated from the investigation and no further action is being taken against him.

The man police want to talk to has been described by the victim as being in his mid to late 20s, 5ft 5ins tall, of athletic build with wide shoulders, and with dark brown short hair that did not have a style but had a parting that went across to the left.

Police said he had brown skin, not tanned, with thick dark eyebrows and about a week’s growth of beard.

He had muscular, hairy arms and spoke with a deep Middle Eastern accent.

Police said he wore a blue t-shirt, black trousers and had a black and grey rucksack.

Detective Sergeant Steve Shimmons said: “If you have any information that could help our investigation please get in touch with us online or by calling 101, quoting serial 1441 of 12/07. You can also talk to any of our patrolling officers and PCSOs.

“We’d also like to hear from anyone who has had unwanted approaches from men in the area recently.”

Chief Inspector Sarah Godley said: “This a rare and isolated incident for the area and is not believed to be part of a pattern. However we have increased patrols in the area and we always want people to remain aware of their surroundings when out and about.”

A police appeal was first issued yesterday (Monday, July 15).