Police release footage of suspected sex attacker prowl through Leeds city centre minutes before assault

CCTV footage has been released showing a man police suspect of committing a 'disturbing' sex attack in Leeds.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 9:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 10:20 am

The man can be seen walking closely behind another woman at the top of Clarendon Road in the early hours of Saturday morning - just minutes before he assaulted a woman nearby.

Detectives have released the short clip in a bid to identify him after the 24-year-old woman was subjected to a serious sexual assault on a street off Woodhouse Lane near to the Leeds University campus.

Police have called the offence "disturbing" in nature and want to hear from anyone who thinks they might recognise the man, or potentially saw him overnight between Friday and Saturday.

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Footage shows the man minutes before the assault on a woman near to the University campus

The victim, who police have stressed is not the woman the man appears to be walking behind in the video, was attacked at around 1.50am on Saturday close to the junction with St Mark's Avenue.

Her attacker fled the scene towards the city centre after he was disturbed by a passer-by who came to help.

Hehas been described as white, aged in his late twenties, of thin build with short, dark hair and wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap. He also appears to be wearing a grey sweater with a black logo across the chest.

Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds District CID, said: “While the CCTV footage doesn’t give us a clear facial image of the suspect, it shows his general appearance, clothing and the way he walks.

Woodhouse Lane close to where the woman was attacked

“We are very keen to hear from anyone who recognises that individual or who has any information that could assist in identifying him.

“We would also like to speak to anyone who has seen him in the area at any time before or after the attack, or anyone else he may have approached during that time.

“The nature of this offence is disturbing and we are working hard 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 provide suitable reassurance to the local community, who will be understandably concerned at this incident. We are also are continuing to support the victim who was left very distressed.

“I would urge anyone who has seen this man in the area or who has any information, no matter how insignificant the think it might be, to contact us immediately.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime reference 13190614215 or online via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat

Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.