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Witness appeal after woman is attacked by two men

posted 18 Feb 2009, 01:45 by myEdinburgh Admin   [ updated 18 Feb 2009, 01:46 ]
Police in Edinburgh are hunting two men who subjected a young woman to a serious sexual assault in the city centre yesterday (February 16).

The two men attacked the 24-year-old woman as she walked north through the Telfer subway towards Dalry at about 3pm. They sprayed her in the face with some form of noxious substance, and dragged her to undergrowth nearby, where she was subjected to a protracted sexual assault. She was eventually released from her ordeal at about 10pm.

The suspects are both described as being white, Eastern European, and in their 20s.

One of the men was around 6ft tall, of medium build, with a dark shaved head and bad teeth. He was wearing a blue raincoat with 'New Zealand' written on it.

The other was shorter in height, with short blonde hair, and was wearing a black waterproof jacket with knitted sleeves.

Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time, or who uses the underpass regularly, to come forward if they recognise the description of the suspects.

A major enquiry team has been established, with 20 officers dedicated to the investigation, which is in its early stages. High visibility patrols are being carried out in the area.

A police spokeswoman said: 'This young woman has been subjected to a terrifying ordeal at the hands of these two men - the trauma she has experienced cannot be underestimated.

'This kind of assault is very rare - they grabbed her in broad daylight in an area used regularly by people making their way from Fountainbridge towards Dalry.

'We are appealing directly to people, like dogwalkers, who use the subway regularly, to come forward, to find out if these men are known in the area.

'We are also asking for anyone, particularly young women, who may have noticed these men in the area, or been approached by them previously, to get in touch as a matter of urgency.

'We do have an increased police presence in the area at the moment, but as always would remind people to be aware of their personal safety at all times, and take appropriate measures when walking alone, and to also be aware of their surroundings and those around them.'

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.

Source: Lothian and Borders Police