POLICE are still hunting for a violent attacker who subjected a young woman to a serious sexual assault in a Sheffield park after first snatching her handbag.
Extra patrols are continuing after the 18-year-old - a Japanese tourist on a visit to the city - was grabbed as she walked through Netherthorpe at around 7.30pm on Friday.
She was chasing a man who had stolen her bag at the corner of Hammond Street and Bellefield Street and, when she caught up with him in woodland in the Ponderosa park, he dragged her to an area just yards from a children’s playground and sexually assaulted her.
Police stepped up patrols in Netherthorpe in the wake of the attack, which Detective Chief Inspector Bob Chapman said officers were taking ‘extremely seriously’.
Forensics teams have combed the scene of the assault to collect evidence.
DCI Chapman said officers were continuing to investigate leads prompted by an appeal for information over the weekend, but had yet to make a breakthrough.
“The investigation continues and we’re continuing to step up patrols in the area to provide public reassurance,” said DCI Chapman.
“Patrols were stepped up after the incident and that will remain in place.”
The detective said the nature of the attack was ‘very unusual’ and the victim had been left ‘traumatised and shaken up’.
“I want to reassure the public this is not a common occurrence,” DCI Chapman added.
The attacker was black, in his 20s, approximately 5ft 9ins tall, of medium build with short dark hair and no facial hair. He wore a royal blue hooded jacket and dark trousers or jeans.
Anyone with information about the incident, or who believes they may have witnessed or heard anything, should call police on 101, quoting incident number 1,029 of August 24. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.