Appeal Following Reported Sexual Assault

Detectives are appealing for witnesses after a teenager reported being sexually assaulted in the St Helens area on Wednesday, 15 July.

At about 8.40am a 17-year-old was walking by herself along a path off Ravenhead Road near the Phoenix Inn pub when she was approached by an unknown man from behind.

The male grabbed her and pushed her to the floor before sexually assaulting her.

The victim is believed to have momentarily lost consciousness and when she came around her attacker was gone.

She sought help from two passers-by who called the police. The girl was taken home to her family who are looking after her until an appropriate time when officers can speak to her in more detail about what happened.

Officers searched the local area and detained a 24-year-old man seen acting suspiciously. He was questioned about the incident and bailed pending further enquiries.

Detective Inspector Paul Unsworth from St Helens CID, said: "Our investigation is in its very early stages and we taking it slowly with the victim as she has gone through a horrendous ordeal.

"It is important that we establish from her exactly what happened during this attack and this will take time. We are taking the incident extremely seriously and extensive enquiries are being carried out by my officers to progress the investigation.

"It is highly unusual for this kind of incident to happen anywhere in St Helens and I understand how worried people living in the area might be. I would like to reassure them that local neighbourhood officers will be patrolling in the area this week and anyone with information or concerns should approach them and they will be happy to help.

"I am keen to hear from anyone who was in this part of Ravenhead Road, in particular near Factory Row this morning and saw anything unusual or suspicious. If you were going to school or work or walking the dog or going for a run and saw anything of note, please call us."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 6013 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.