A sex attacker is believed to have targeted three women in Brighton, Sussex Police said last night.
The force said: “Police in Brighton believe the same man may be responsible for three sexual assaults on women in the city.
“They have published CCTV images obtained from near to two of the incidents, hoping that people may recognise him.
“The most recent incident took place when the 19-year-old victim was walking east along the north pavement in Marine Parade, Brighton, at about 5.30am on Sunday 6 October when she was approached by the man who first tried to engage her in conversation and then attacked her at the junction of Seymour Street.
“She resisted and after some moments she managed to struggle free and ran off.
“The man was described as of mixed race, tall and in his late thirties, with flat black afro-style hair and wearing square-rimmed glasses.
“An image published by police shows the suspect walking away immediately after the attack.
“Barely 24 hours before that attack, shortly after 6.25pm on Saturday 5 October, an 18-year-old woman was sitting on a bench outside All Bar One in the Pavilion Buildings area just outside Pavilion Gardens in the city centre, when she was approached by a man.
“He first engaged her in conversation then grabbed her and kissed her on the lips. She pushed him away and ran off, very shaken but unhurt.
“The man was described as black, slim, about 6ft, wearing a black tracksuit possibly with white stripes down the arms.
“An image published by police shows the suspect walking in Pavilion Buildings immediately before this attack.
“The first attack took place at about 1.35am on Wednesday 24 July. A 22-year-old woman was walking home in Ditchling Road, Brighton, when she was approached by a man at the junction with Princes Crescent, who again tried to engage her in conversation.
“He then sexually assaulted her but she resisted and he made off back down towards London Road and disappeared.
“The suspect was described as a mixed race man, of medium build, in his 30s-40s and he spoke in broken English.”
Detective Inspector Duncan Elliott, of the Brighton Safeguarding investigations Unit, said: “These were very frightening experiences for the women, who have been receiving support and assistance from specialist officers.
“We have issued these two images in the hope someone may recognise or identify the man in either of the images and will be able to assist with the ongoing intensive investigation which began in July.
“If you were in the areas at those times and saw anything of the incidents, even without perhaps realising what was happening at the time, or if you saw any other suspicious activity or can help us identify this man, please contact us.
“We have been carrying out very thorough and detailed enquiries into these attacks including visits to all addresses in nearby, and the victims have also been receiving support from specialist officers, but so far the assailant has not been traced.
“From several similarities in the descriptions in each case, and the circumstances of the attacks, including other information, we believe they may well be linked although that has not been firmly established at present.
“These have been isolated incidents but our investigations are continuing. Our patrolling officers are paying extra attention to the areas involved and anyone with concerns can speak to them at any time.”
Sussex Police added: “If you can help our investigation, please report online or call 101, quoting Operation Downgate.”