A woman was sexually assaulted in broad daylight on a busy Preston street, say police.
The woman, who is in her 30s, was walking along Maitland Street between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on Friday, June 29 when she was approached by an unknown man.
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Police say the man started off by talking to the woman and asking her for the time from across the road.
But as she approached the junction with Rigby Street, the man is reported to have crossed the road before grabbing and sexually assaulting her.
Officers say the victim managed to make her escape by pushing him away and running off.
The attacker is described as a white male of proportionate build with short light brown hair.
PC Ben Gomer of Preston Police, said: “The victim was walking down the street when she was sexually assaulted.
“We believe the area was quite busy at the time and are appealing to anyone with any information at all, to come forward.
“If you witnessed the assault, or saw anything suspicious, please ring Preston Police on 01772 209948, or failing that, 101, quoting log number 894 of 30th June. You can also email email@example.com.”
Local business owners voiced their shock over the attack saying they'd never experienced anything like it before.
Salma Farid, director of Alpha Interior Designs Ltd, based in Maitland Mill, said: " It is shocking. We've been here nine years and I know bit and bats happen around here but nothing like this.
"I've got a daughter whose only 14 who comes here frequently and it's a worry.
"The police have been around looking for CCTV but until then most people around here hadn't heard about it."
Another business owner, who did not wish to be identified, branded the area "rough as old boots" and said he wasn't surprised an assault had happened.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.