Man bailed over schoolgirl attack

DETECTIVES are still appealing for information after a 24-year-old suspect arrested in connection with an attack on a schoolgirl was released on bail.

The man, who is from Hastings, was arrested last Friday on suspicion of assault after the 12-year-old Helenswood Academy pupil was hit over the head with a bat by a hooded thug.

The attack happened between 3.30pm and 4.15pm on January 27 when the girl was taking a short cut on a footpath adjacent to Sandrock Park just off The Ridge and opposite to the BP petrol station.

She screamed and ran off before her attacked ran away. The girl was badly shaken by the ordeal and sustained a minor head inury but did not need hospital treatment.

Detective have released the suspect on bail until 18 March.

The principal of Helenswood Academy Lucy Monk issued a letter to parents of all Lower School pupils.

It read: “The assault happened when taking the short cut by St Helen’s Church. We have asked all students to

avoid all short cuts in the area, and to remain on public pavements next to roads. The police are working with us to ensure that the assailant is identified and brought

into custody as quickly as possible, but it is vital that all Helenswood girls are alert to their own and others’ safety.”

Detective inspector Rob Morland said: “I’d still like to speak to anyone who was in the area who may have seen or heard something that could help with the investigation.”

Anyone with information can call 101 quoting Op Adare, email or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.