Woman in sex attack on Burnley tow path
A 23-year-old woman has been seriously sexually assaulted by a man who approached her as she walked along a canal tow path in Lancashire.
The woman was walking along the bank off Colne Road in Burnley between 2230 and 2300 BST on Tuesday when a man came up to her and struck up a conversation.
The man then forced her to some rough grassland where he attacked her.
Police said the man is Asian, 5ft 8in (1.7m) tall with a round face and cleanly shaven.
He was wearing a dark jacket, dark jeans and a grey woolly hat at the time of the attack.
Det Supt Neil Esseen said, "This is a cowardly attack on a vulnerable female member of our community and I would appeal for anyone with information to come forward and contact us.
"Despite the heavy rain on that night, the canal tow path is often used by boat owners, dog walkers and joggers so it is possible that someone may have seen the victim either before or after the attack and we would urge them to get in touch with us.
"It is also possible that the male was loitering in the area immediately prior to the incident and someone may have seen him."
He added: "We are confident that with the communities assistance we will quickly arrest this man but in the meantime would ask people to be extra vigilant whilst going about their day to day life. Extra police patrols will be in the area."