Police CCTV appeal for suspect who grabbed woman off path in serious Leeds 'attempted sexual assault'

Detectives investigating an attempted serious sexual assault on a woman in Leeds have released CCTV footage of the suspect fleeing the scene as they appeal to drivers in the area.

By Alex Grant
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 4:07 pm

Officers from West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team are continuing to investigate the attack that occurred between 9.15am and 9.20am on Thursday, May 5.

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The victim, aged in her twenties, had been walking on the footpath that passes under the viaduct between Domestic Road and Cross Ingram Road when she was grabbed from behind by a male who dragged her to a nearby grassed area. He was disturbed by a passer-by and ran off.

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The suspect was described as wearing a black jacket with a fur-trimmed hood, a black beanie hat, and a black face covering over his mouth. Picture: WYP.

The suspect was described as wearing a black jacket with a fur-trimmed hood, a black beanie hat, and a black face covering over his mouth.

Enquiries have shown the route the suspect took as he fled the scene.

He was picked up on footage from a CCTV camera at the junction of the northbound A643 and Wortley Lane.

When he left the scene of the attack, he initially headed south along the A643 a short way before turning back up the A643 to where he was picked up on CCTV.

He then carried on along Gelderd Road, over the roundabout and onto the A58 Whitehall Road.

CCTV images from the bottom of Whitehall Road also show the suspect passing at 9.24am.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Tony Nicholson said: “This was during the morning ‘rush-hour’ and the area was very busy with traffic at the time.

“The CCTV clip shows the suspect, wearing a black coat with a light fur-trimmed hood, running on the slip road from the busy A643 to Wortley Lane, and it is likely this behaviour would have stood out.

“We would like to hear from anyone who saw him in the area and would ask that drivers who used that route at that time review their dashcam footage to see if they have filmed him as they passed in either direction.

“We would also like to speak to anyone who regularly uses the footpath under the viaduct between the A643 and Cross Ingram Road who may have seen the suspect in the area at any point.

“The circumstances of this incident are very concerning, and we are determined to keep doing everything we can to identify and arrest this man at the earliest opportunity.

“We are continuing to liaise with our colleagues on the local neighbourhood policing team who have increased their patrols of the area to reassure people following this incident.

“I would urge anyone who saw him or who has any information, no matter how insignificant they think it might be, to contact us immediately.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the investigation team via 101 quoting Operation Palmerston reference 13220240427 or online via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechatInformation can be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.