Young woman sexually attacked by masked man on 'popular' Rawdon walking route as police launch urgent appeal

A young woman was sexually attacked on a 'tree-lined section' of a Leeds street last night - as police launch an urgent appeal for information.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:54 pm

The victim, aged in her twenties, was walking in the countryside on Cliffe Drive, Rawdon, shortly before 7pm on Sunday (March 21) when she was grabbed by a man and sexually assaulted.

The man was disturbed when the victim’s phone rang, police said.

The attacker fled further down Cliffe Drive..

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As the woman ran back the way she had come across Rawdon golf course, she called a friend.

She then returned home and called the police.

The man was described as being aged in his twenties to forties, and wearing all black clothing, with the bottom half of his face covered with a mask or snood.

The attack took place on a muddy tree-lined section of Cliffe Drive that lies between Woodlands Drive and Rawdon Hall Drive, police confirmed.

Detective Inspector Amanda Wimbles, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “We are treating this incident very seriously and are carrying out extensive enquiries to identify the man responsible for this attack.

“The victim has been left distressed, and we have specially-trained officers supporting her.

“A scene is currently in place on the part of Cliffe Drive where the incident occurred, to undergo specialist searches.

“This is an area of countryside that is popular for walks and we would like to hear from anyone who was in the area around sunset when the incident occurred and saw anything that could assist the investigation.

“We would also like to speak to anyone who may have noticed someone hanging around or acting suspiciously in the area at any other time.

“We appreciate that an incident of this nature will cause understandable concern in the local community and we are liaising closely with our colleagues on the local neighbourhood policing team who are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure people.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 quoting Operation Pettydon or crime reference 13120141650 or online via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat