London girl 'sexually assaulted 3 times' in Tower Hamlets

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  • Incidents took place while teenager was making her way home from a night out 
  • She was separated from friends and was attempting to get to central London 
  • Police believe the student was attacked on three separate occasions in the hour between 11.55pm on Friday, September 29 and 12.55am the next day
  • Force released CCTV images of two of the suspects in bid to catch attackers

By Anthony Joseph for MailOnline

Published: 02:39 EDT, 13 October 2017 | Updated: 09:18 EDT, 13 October 2017

Police are hunting suspects after a 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted three times in the space of an hour by separate men.

The horrifying incidents took place while the teenager was making her way home from a night out in Tower Hamlets, east London.

She became separated from her friends and was attempting to get to central London, where she lived. 

Police believe the student was attacked on three separate occasions in the hour between 11.55pm on Friday, September 29 and 12.55am the next day.

The Metropolitan Police have today released CCTV images of two of the suspects in a bid to catch the girl's attackers. 

Shortly after midnight, another CCTV camera picks up the girl stumbling down Mint Street being followed by a different, bearded male, on a racing bicycle, who is believed to be the second suspect
Shortly after midnight, another CCTV camera picks up the girl stumbling down Mint Street being followed by a different, bearded male, on a racing bicycle, who is believed to be the second suspect
The man who is believed to be the second suspect
The man who is believed to be the second suspect

Shortly after midnight, another CCTV camera picks up the girl stumbling down Mint Street being followed by a different, bearded male, on a racing bicycle, who is believed to be the second suspect

The victim's ordeal started shortly before midnight when she was first picked up on camera being carried by a man, who is believed to be the first suspect, on Cambridge Heath Road. 

The image quality of the CCTV before the first incident is said to be too poor to release and the man can only be described as wearing dark clothing, according to the police.

The pair are then seen appearing to go into a doorway on the same road, after which the man is not seen again on camera, but items of the top half of the girl's clothing were subsequently found by the location.

Shortly after midnight, another CCTV camera picks up the girl stumbling down Mint Street being followed by a different, bearded male, on a racing bicycle, who is believed to be the second suspect.

The images show the man is wearing a backwards baseball cap which has a square/rectangular emblem front centre, a hooded zip jacket, which is two toned in colour, with the shoulders and upper back area being darker, exposing a plain tee-shirt underneath. He has dark trousers and a bag on his back.

This man follows the teenager along Mint Street and then as she turns right into Three Colts Lane and heads in the direction of Bethnal Green Overground Station.

When the next camera picks her up a short time later, the man has approached her and they have reached Corfield Street.

The CCTV indicates that he then directs the victim into the set just back from the street where they remain for a period of time. 

The CCTV footage captures a third suspect walking down Cornfield Street and joining two other figures seen in the distance in outline shadow under some trees at 12.45am
The CCTV footage captures a third suspect walking down Cornfield Street and joining two other figures seen in the distance in outline shadow under some trees at 12.45am

The CCTV footage captures a third suspect walking down Cornfield Street and joining two other figures seen in the distance in outline shadow under some trees at 12.45am

The camera then shows the suspect leaving this location and walking away. The girl, whose clothing appears dishevelled, emerges shortly afterwards and goes further down Corfield Street.

Just minutes later, around 12:45am, detectives believe that the victim suffered a third attack, this final time possibly involving two or three men. 

The CCTV footage captures a third suspect walking down Cornfield Street and joining two other figures seen in the distance in outline shadow under some trees. 

He appears to bend down towards a spot on the kerb in between some parked cars.

Detectives believe it is at this point where the student was sexually assaulted. 

This same man is then seen at about 12:55am coming back up Cornfield Street on his own, walking towards the CCTV camera. 

The clip reveals that the suspect has a distinctive gait, which gives him the appearance of walking unevenly and perhaps being slightly bow-legged.

This same man is then seen at about 12:55am coming back up Cornfield Street on his own, walking towards the CCTV camera
This same man is then seen at about 12:55am coming back up Cornfield Street on his own, walking towards the CCTV camera

This same man is then seen at about 12:55am coming back up Cornfield Street on his own, walking towards the CCTV camera

The clip reveals that the suspect has a distinctive gait, which gives him the appearance of walking unevenly and perhaps being slightly bow-legged 
The clip reveals that the suspect has a distinctive gait, which gives him the appearance of walking unevenly and perhaps being slightly bow-legged 

The clip reveals that the suspect has a distinctive gait, which gives him the appearance of walking unevenly and perhaps being slightly bow-legged 

After the attacks, a member of the public spotted the teenager lying on the ground in Cornfield Street in a state of distress and immediately rung 999 to alert police. 

Police were called shortly afterwards and took her for examination and specialist support.

Officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command (CASO) have already conducted public witness appeals and now are urgently seeking help from any members of the public who can identify either man in the footage or have any other information. 

They also believe it is possible that she was drugged and are in the process of conducting toxicology tests.

Detective Inspector Suzanne Jordan, from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, (CAS0) said: 'This is a horrific multiple sexual assault on an young female who was simply making her way home after a night out. We would like to thank the members of the public who intervened to help her and possibly prevented her ordeal from continuing even further.'

'We believe two of the three were very serious sexual assaults indeed, and are determined to catch the persons responsible for these hideous crimes. I would urge anyone who recognises either male in these images to contact us as a matter of urgency.

'We'd also like to speak to any witnesses who haven't already come forward, or anyone with any information at all however insignificant they believe it might be - it could prove crucial to progressing our enquiries.'

Anyone with information should contact the CASO team investigating via the Met on 101 or via twitter at @MetCC.

Information can also be provided anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org 

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Larry White
By Larry White 13/10/2017 09:18:00