A 17-year-old girl was drugged and sexually assaulted in three separate attacks as she tried to make her way home from a night out.
Police are hunting the men behind the separate assaults which took place over the period of just one hour and have released images and CCTV of two of the men taken from different cameras that have helped them track the girl’s movements at the time of the attack.
The student was trying to get home to central London from a nightclub in Tower Hamlets when she became separated from her friends.
Her ordeal began just before midnight on Friday, September 29 when she is seen on camera being carried by a man known to police as ‘Suspect 1’. The pair are seen appearing to go into a doorway where items of the top half of the girl’s clothing were later found.
Shortly after midnight, the girl is picked up by another CCTV camera stumbling down a nearby street followed by a different man, ‘Suspect 2’ on a bike wearing a backwards baseball cap and a hooded two-tone zip jacket.
The man appears to follow the girl as she heads towards Bethnal Green Overground Station then approaches her and directs her into an area set back from the street. Cameras show him leaving and walking away while the girl, whose clothing appears dishevelled, emerges shortly afterwards.
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Just minutes later, around 12.45am, detectives think the teenager suffered a third attack, possibly involving two or three men including one dubbed ‘Suspect 3’, who is described by police as walking unevenly with a ‘distinctive gait’.
After the third attack, the teenager was spotted lying on the ground in Cornfield Street by a member of the public who dialled 999.
The girl was taken for examination and specialist support by police, who are now seeking help from members of the public who can identify either man in the footage or have any other information.
Police also believe the victim may have been drugged and are carrying out toxicology tests.
Detective Inspector Suzanne Jordan, from the Met Police’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, (CAS0) said: “This is a horrific multiple sexual assault on an young female who was simply making her way home after a night out. We would like to thank the members of the public who intervened to help her and possibly prevented her ordeal from continuing even further.”
“We believe two of the three were very serious sexual assaults indeed, and are determined to catch the persons responsible for these hideous crimes. I would urge anyone who recognises either male in these images to contact us as a matter of urgency.
“We’d also like to speak to any witnesses who haven’t already come forward, or anyone with any information at all however insignificant they believe it might be – it could prove crucial to progressing our enquiries.”