Witness appeal after bus attacks

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POLICE have appealed for information after alleged sex attacks on young girls on buses.

They say that in each incident, a man sat next to a young girl on a bus before talking to her and then groping, fondling or trying to kiss her.

One of the buses was a Hartlepool bus, while another was destined for the town and a third happened on a bus in the Middlesbrough area.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Police are appealing for information in connection with three sexual assaults on buses in the Cleveland area which they believe may possibly be linked.”

On November 7, between 4pm and 4.30pm, a man sat next to a 16-year-old girl on a bus from Norton to Hartlepool.

He is said to have then tried to befriend her before kissing and fondling her.

He got off at Hartlepool Marina.

The man is described as being a foreign black male with a moustache, 6ft-tall, of broad build with a beer belly, wearing a cap, a green T-shirt, black trousers and had a back-pack with him.

On October 31, between 10.30am and 10.40am, police say a 20-year-old woman was sitting on a bus in Hartlepool and a man sat next to her.

Police said a man tried to befriend her and touched her body.

The woman had boarded the bus in the town centre and the man got on the vehicle a couple of stops later.

The man in this incident is described as black, with thinning black hair, of medium build, around 5ft 8in-10in tall and in his late 20s to early 30s.

He was wearing a beige-coloured jumper, blue jeans and a silver chain around his neck.

The man is described as North African or Arabic.

Police are also investigating a similar incident on the number 63 bus at Middlesbrough Bus Station, which happened around 6pm on November 21.

The man boarded the bus and sat next to a 16-year-old girl and started to talk to her.

Police say he put his arm around her and fondled her.

The suspect is described as black, around 30 to 40, of fat build, 5ft 8ins-tall, had big yellow teeth with gaps, spoke with a foreign accent and was not believed to be local.

He was wearing a black coat an old black tatty cap with white writing, had short curly Afro hair, wore wire-rimmed round glasses and a chequered shirt with white stripes on his coat and a black shoulder bag with the strap across his chest.

Anyone with information about any of the attacks is urged to call PC Chris Stone, of Redcar Police, on (01642) 302626 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.