Police condemn ‘despicable’ sex attack on 96-year-old woman in Staple Hill

A man believed to be in his late 50s has sexually assaulted a 96-year-old woman who was waiting for a bus in Staple Hill.

The incident, which was reported to the police last week, happened at around 4.45pm on Wednesday, 31 January.

The victim was on her own at the bus stop on Soundwell Road, near the Portcullis pub, when she was approached by a man thought to be in his late 50s.

The man, who claimed to be from the former Republic of Yugoslavia, repeatedly touched her inappropriately before eventually walking off in the direction of Downend.

The victim described the man as being tanned, about 5ft 8in and of large build with straight dark hair. He is said to have a large face and big hands.

He was wearing a navy anorak, a navy jumper and black or dark coloured shoes with white soles which were possible trainers. He was also carrying a rucksack.

Investigating officer PC Courtney Handley said: “This was a despicable assault on an vulnerable elderly woman while she waited for a bus.

“I’d like to praise the bravery she has shown by reporting what happened and we are now making sure she has access to all the support she needs.

“We’re doing everything we can to identify the man responsible but we also need the public’s help.

“Do you recognise the description provided? Have you seen anyone matching the description in the Staple Hill or Downend areas during the past few weeks?

“Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any information – it could prove to be vital to our inquiry.”

If you can help, call PC Handley via 101, providing the call handler with the reference 5218049342.