Police are appealing for witnesses and information following a sexual assault on a teenage girl in Stevenage.

It happened yesterday (Thursday, March 1) between 11.30am and 11.45am in Cuttys Lane, near to a bus stop just past the junction for Penn Road.

The victim, a 15-year-old-girl, was walking on the pavement when she noticed a man walking towards her.

He bumped into her before speaking a foreign language.

The victim did not understand him so began to walk away.

However, the offender grabbed her from behind and sexually assaulted her before pushing her to the ground.

The victim managed to fight him off and shout for help before the offender made off in the direction of Homestead Moat.

He is described as around 40 years old with a tanned/olive complexion.

He had short, shaved hair that was black in colour, a stubbly beard and brown eyes.

He was wearing a black zip-up fleece, black jeans that were baggy at the bottom, a black belt with a chunky gold buckle and black shoes.

Following the assault, a female member of the public came to the victim’s aid and accompanied her to the police station, however did not leave her details.

Detective Constable Neil Davies, who is investigating, said: “This was understandably a very frightening ordeal for the victim and I would like to commend her bravery.

“She and her family are being supported by officers.

“I want to reassure the community that incidents of this type are unusual in Stevenage and we are doing all we can to trace the offender.

“We are very keen to trace the female member of the public who kindly helped the victim following the assault.”

DC Davies added: “We would also like to speak to anyone who was in the area around the time of the offence and saw a man matching the description running from the scene.”

•If this was you, or someone you know, please contact me as soon as possible on neil.davies@herts.pnn.police.uk or call 101, asking for DC 958 Davies and quoting crime reference E1/18/1722. You may have vital information that could help progress our investigation.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.