Sussex

Two girls, 11 and 16, sexually assaulted off Brighton beach

An 11-year-old girl and a teenager have been sexually assaulted while swimming off Brighton beach.

The two separate attacks, which Sussex Police are treating as linked, took place on Sunday afternoon.

The victim of the first assault, a 16-year-old girl, was groped after being approached by five men in the sea opposite the Metropole Hotel.

The 11-year-old was assaulted close to West Pier, when a man threw her in the air before grabbing and touching her.

All the attackers have been described as of Asian appearance.

'Frightening ordeal'

Det Sgt Emily Hoare said: "These two incidents happened near to each other and about half an hour apart.

"The two victims suffered a frightening ordeal and there must be witnesses as the beach and sea were packed with people as it was a hot sunny afternoon."

The first attack took place at about 14:30 BST when the girl was with two friends. They were approached by five men who began hassling them.

As they tried swimming away one of the men grabbed the student and touched her.

The attack on the 11-year-old, which took place at 15:00, was carried out by one man who was described as having dark brown eyes, with short black hair and wearing white pants.

Police have appealed for witnesses.

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