Reported rape of teenager in Hailsham - manhunt launched for suspect

DETECTIVES are investigating the reported rape of an 18-year-old woman in Hailsham.

The woman was walking in playing fields known as the Rec near the Diplocks industrial estate of South Road at about 8.20pm on September 4.

She was attacked by a man who pulled her to the ground and committed the assault.

The man then ran off and the woman made her way back to her family home nearby, from where the offence was reported a short while later.

Police said the woman was severely shocked but was not physically injured. She is being interviewed and supported by specially trained police officers.

Nothing was stolen during the attack which lasted several minutes.

The man is described as white, 5f 11in to 6ft 1in, in his 40s, apparently unshaven, wearing a brown leather jacket and a black balaclava. He spoke with a local accent.

Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said; “The young woman was clearly very truamatised and we are making detailed enquiries to establish the full circumstances. We have received no reports of any similar incidents in the area.

“Anyone who was in the area yesterday evening and saw the man or the victim at any stage, is asked to get in touch with us via 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Abanet.”