Portsmouth walkers stabbed in two attacks

Ports Creek, Hilsea One of the women was attacked at Ports Creek in Hilsea

Two women were stabbed in the chest while walking in Portsmouth, police have said.

In separate, unprovoked incidents a 45-year-old dog walker was attacked on a wooded footpath along the shore of Ports Creek, Hilsea, on Sunday.

Prior to that, a 20-year-old was assaulted on Southampton Road, near Ashurst Road, Cosham, on 20 June.

Both women were stabbed in the chest but their injuries are not life threatening.

In Sunday's attack, which happened at about 11:20 BST east of the footbridge that crosses from Peronne Road to the Highbury estate, a man approached the 45-year-old from the opposite direction before assaulting her and running off towards Hilsea Lines.

The 20-year-old woman had been walking alone on 20 June when she was approached by a man from behind and assaulted near a bus stop, opposite a block of flats, on Ashurst Road at about 22:40 BST.

'Possible link'

In both cases the man is described as white and aged in his late teens to early 20s.

In the Cosham attack the man was wearing a dark woollen beanie hat, dark jumper and dark tracksuit bottoms.

In the assault in Hilsea the attacker was wearing a blue hooded top with yellow writing and blue jeans.

Hampshire Constabulary said both women were thought to have been attacked by some sort of bladed object, possibly a knife.

Det Insp Mark Tutton said: "This type of unprovoked attack is extremely unusual, particularly two similar incidents in the north of the city in just over a week.

"We are obviously investigating the possibility that these are linked."

He has appealed for witnesses and said "reassurance patrols" were taking place in the Hilsea area.

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