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Woman raped as she walked home

Detectives are investigating after a woman was raped as she walked home in St Leonards in the early hours of Sunday.

The 19-year old woman was walking along a pavement between London Road and St Margaret's Road, having been out in Hastings.

She was grabbed from behind by a man who raped her, after which she ran off towards London Road, and the man did not appear to follow her.

She made her way home and the crime was reported to the police later that day.

"The suspect is described as about 5'9", with brown tanned skin, and had a beard. He was wearing a black hoody and a scarf. This was an horrific experience for the young woman, who is badly shocked. She is receiving support and expert counselling.

"If you were out and about in St Leonards in the early hours of Sunday, and saw what happened, or saw either the woman or the suspect, near Warrior Square, we do need to hear from you.

"Please contact us via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting Operation Platinum. There is no recent record of attacks like this in the area, but we want to find this man before he tries to carry out anything similar."

– Detective Inspector Hannah Willard