Leyton News

Girl, 10, grabbed by ‘suspicious’ man in Leyton

Police said they have “no information to suggest that there is a wider risk to children in the area”

By Victoria Munro

The image released by police (credit: Met Police)

Police have released an artist’s impression of a man they are looking for after “suspicious behaviour” towards a 10-year-old girl in Leyton.

On 18th and 21st November, the man allegedly approached the girl as she walked to school in the Flempton Road area, speaking to her and – on the second occasion – grabbing her by the arm.

While the child was unharmed, Detective Constable Jaime Thorn said she was “understandably shaken and scared by what is alleged to have happened” and “continues to struggle with the impact of the experience”.

The stranger is described as an approximately 5’9″ white man in his 40s with a “medium stocky build”, a bald head and a bushy black beard.

He is said to have a distinctive large black flower tattoo covering the front of his neck and another tattoo, made up of black lines, on his left hand.

Detective Constable Jaime Thorn said: “Certain aspects of the description, in particular the large neck tattoo, are distinctive and I’m confident anyone who knows the person depicted in the image will recognise them. I would urge them to come forward.

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“I know that any incidents where children are alleged to have been approached in the street will be a cause for concern in the community. We are in contact with the school to ensure that they have the support they need.

“While officers are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances behind the alleged incidents, initial enquiries suggest the girl was likely not approached at random and that the man may know her or those close to her.

“We have no information to suggest that there is a wider risk to children in the area, although we would always encourage parents or guardians to ensure adequate and appropriate safety measures are in place when children are travelling to and from school or are out on their own.”

On both occasions, the stranger was reportedly wearing grey jogging bottoms, black boots and a black backpack with numerous pockets. During the first incident, he was wearing a navy or black beanie and a dark blue zip-up hoodie with a hole, while during the second incident, he wore a light grey or white zip-up hoodie with short sleeves.

Anyone who thinks they know the person shown in the image is urged to call 101, giving the reference 4924383/22. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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