Mum praises daughter who jumped into Union Canal to escape sex attacker in Edinburgh

Union canal in Ratho The girl jumped into the Union Canal at Ratho

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The mother of a girl forced to jump into a canal to escape a sex attacker said she hopes the police catch the man "before he hurts someone".

The 15-year-old was grabbed from behind after she got off a bus at the bridge over the Union Canal in Ratho, west of Edinburgh, at about 17:30 on Wednesday.

The girl struggled free and jumped into the canal. She remained there for a few minutes until her attacker ran off.

She then managed to get out of water and contacted the police.

Her mother said her daughter was "ok" and had been "incredibly brave".

The attacker was described as being white, in his early 20s, of slim build, and between 5ft 8in and 5ft 9in tall.

'Terrible experience'

He had short, dark spiky hair and was wearing a grey cardigan with buttons, loose jeans and was carrying a white shoulder bag.

Det Insp David Storey, of Lothian and Borders Police, said they were now going to carry out searches along the tow path.

He said: "This has been a terrible experience for the girl involved. Although she escaped any injury, she has been understandably shaken as a result.

"She has, however, been able to provide us with a good description of the suspect and so I would appeal for anyone who may recognise him to get in touch.

"Our inquiries are at an early stage, but we believe the suspect may have also got off the bus at Ratho behind the girl, so we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been on the number X12 from Edinburgh on Wednesday, and who may have seen this man, to contact us."

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