Man arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after girl, 6, attacked in bushes while playing

25 August 2021, 20:10

The girl was attacked in the Timberleys area of Littlehampton
The girl was attacked in the Timberleys area of Littlehampton. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and child abduction after an attack on a six-year-old girl.

Sussex Police said she was playing in an open area in Timberleys, Littlehampton when she was approached by a man at about 5pm on August 23.

He forced her into nearby bushes but fled after about a minute. It is thought he was distracted when relatives called out for the girl.

Police said a 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of child abduction, sexual assault, and a separate common assault.

He is in custody for interviews and further enquiries.

Officers would like to speak to any witnesses of the incident.

Chief Inspector Jon Carter, Arun and Chichester District Commander, said: "This is an important development but our investigation continues and if if you witnessed the incident or have any other information, please report online or by ringing 101, quoting Operation Assertive.

"The investigation is being pursued quickly and rigorously, and local officers are conducting increased patrols. Local people should continue to take sensible precautions to keep their children safe.

"If you see any suspicious behaviour around children call us on 999 at once."