Witnesses are sought following a report of an attempted sexual assault at Bedgebury Pinetum near Hawkhurst.

It is alleged that during the evening of Sunday 13 June 2021, a man in possession of a knife approached a teenager as she was sitting on a bench next to a lake accessed from Park Lane. The suspect is said to have physically assaulted the victim and during a struggle she sustained injuries. Police were called to the area at 7.07pm and the victim, aged 17, was taken to hospital and later discharged.

An investigation is now being led by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate. Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber said: ‘We are working to establish the full circumstances of this incident, which happened at a fairly remote location known as Louisa Lake. It was a very warm day and there would have been lots of visitors to the Pinetum, including walkers and cyclists. I would urge anyone who may have been in or around this area to contact us if they have any information, no matter how small or insignificant it may appear.’

The suspect is described as white and aged in his 40s. He was wearing dark trousers (possibly jogging bottoms) and had a face mask on. Anyone with information should call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/101987/21. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or by using the online form on their website.

DCI Kimber added: ‘It is important to remember that incidents such as this remain extremely rare, however we are urging people to be vigilant and to be aware of their surroundings.’

By Ed

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