Mother and child held at knifepoint in Bridgwater break-in

  • 5 February 2015
  • From the section Somerset
Media captionMore than 250 house-to-house enquiries have been made in the police investigation

A mother and child were tied up and held at knifepoint by a masked intruder who carried out a sexual assault in a "horrific" break-in, police have said.

The offender demanded money and jewellery but is believed to have left the property in Sydenham, Bridgwater, empty-handed.

Avon and Somerset Police described the break-in, on 21 January, as "a horrendous ordeal".

The force would not confirm which of the victims was sexually assaulted.

Knife found

The offender, who was wearing a balaclava-style mask, got into the house through an unlocked door between 07:50 GMT and 08:15.

Image caption The offender was seen by a witness in Dunwear Lane, Bridgwater at about 08:12 on 21 January

Det Ch Insp Andy Williams said: "An offence of this gravity will naturally cause concern in the local community and I'd like to reassure people that we've got a team of experienced detectives and officers working on the case.

"It's likely there will be an ongoing police presence as we continue making enquiries to piece together what happened."

Police said there had been a number of potential sightings of the offender in Dunwear Lane, Westonzoyland Road and later on CCTV at St John and St Francis Primary School.

A fence was broken in St David's Court and a knife was found in Somerville Way.

Sightings of masked intruder

1. Sighting of man matching offender's description in Dunwear Lane at 08:12 GMT

2. Man seen running towards junction with Westonzoyland Road

3. He turns left into Westonzoyland Road

4. Man seen on CCTV by St John and St Francis Primary School

5. Broken fence discovered in St David's Court

6. Knife found in garden in Somerville Way

The offender was described as white, between 25 and 60 years old, wearing a high-visibility yellow jacket, a black or dark grey mask, dark tracksuit trousers and white trainers.

"The offender had his face covered but I'm urging people to look at the description and think about whether they saw someone matching it on the morning of Wednesday 21 January, or at any point during the day of the incident or the days before," Mr Williams said.

"Equally if you know someone who wears clothing similar to those worn by the offender was wearing, we'd like to speak to you."

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