A woman thwarted a sex attack on a 13-year-old girl in a Brighton street and now police are trying to trace her.
Sussex Police said: “Brighton detectives believe a local woman may have valuable information about an attack on a young girl in Hollingbury.
“At about 8pm on Tuesday 31 July the 13-year-old girl was walking north up Portfield Avenue when she was confronted by three older boys who forced her into an alleyway where one of them tried to sexually assault her before they made off.
“The girl was very upset but was not physically hurt.
“The boys were all described as white, aged between 16 and 18.
“One was about 6ft. He had short brown spikey hair, and wore a black t-shirt, dark blue shorts, possibly denim, cut off above the knee, white soled trainers, black on the outside with a red tongue and black laces.
“Another was about 5ft 10in with black or brown hair, slightly tanned, of slightly bigger build, wearing a black or very dark blue t-shirt – possibly Polo brand – with two white buttons at the top, a shirt with thick material, short sleeved with no collar, denim shorts and black trainers with white laces.
“The third boy was about 6ft, with blond or brown tousled hair, wearing a short-sleeve black/dark blue top, black Nike shorts with a white tick on the leg, a blue watch, either a Fitbit or an Apple.”
Detective Constable Leianne Blampied, of the Brighton Safeguarding investigations Unit, said: “If you were in that area at the time and saw anything suspicious, we would like to talk to you.
“In particular we would like to trace a woman believed to be in her fifties or early sixties, short and slim with greying hair and wearing a floral dress and a jacket.
“She walked past as the boys were holding the girl in Portfield Avenue. She stopped and spoke to the boys.
“If you are that woman or if you have any other information, please contact us online or via 101, quoting serial 1568 of 31/07.”