Appeal after girl is grabbed in Middleton

Detectives are appealing for information after an 11-year-old girl was grabbed by a man in Leeds.

The victim had been walking home from school across playing fields between Throstle Lane and Throstle Road in Middleton shortly after 4pm yesterday (Wednesday 22 February 2017) when the man put his hand on her shoulder and asked her to go with him.

She elbowed him in the stomach and ran home and told her mother who contacted the police.

The man was described as white, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall, a bit chubby, with narrow eyes and a deep voice. He was wearing a short red coat, with a pocket on one arm, a black hat, black trousers and new looking black and white Nike-type shoes. He had gloves on and had a dark-coloured backpack.

Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, of Leeds District CID, said: “This was clearly a distressing incident for the young girl involved and we are carrying out extensive enquiries to trace this man.

“We would like to hear from anyone who was in the area and saw someone fitting his description or who has any information that could assist the investigation.

“We are aware of calls from members of the public reporting a similarly described man acting suspiciously in the area later in the evening and we are looking at whether he could be the same suspect.

“Officers from the local neighbourhood team are mounting increased patrols of the area to reassure the community and are also linking with local schools to offer suitable advice and support.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime number 13170084731 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.