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14-year-old boy pleads guilty to string of sexual assaults in Manchester

Attacks include three near the university from 21 September to 5 October

A 14-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual assault on five separate women near Manchester University.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Manchester City Magistrates Court this morning to hear the charges, and again this afternoon to enter his plea.

He has been released on conditional bail and the case has been adjourned until 2 December. He is required to live and sleep at his parents’ home, with a 6pm curfew and the stipulation that he cannot enter the university campus area.

Police in the city said an 18-year-old man who was also arrested on suspicion of sexual assault has been released on bail pending further investigation.

Among the attacks involved in the case were three near the university between Saturday 21 September and Saturday 5 October.

The BBC reported that in the first incident, a 27-year-old woman said she was approached from behind and grabbed at 6.15pm. She said she screamed before the offender, who she described as being in his mid-teens and mixed race, threatened her and then ran off.

Police on Saturday had released an e-fit image of the alleged attacker in an attempt to bring an end to the string of attacks before the complaints escalated in seriousness.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Larkin said: “I am extremely grateful to the public for all the calls we received this weekend after putting an appeal out for information in connection with these incidents.”

“Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual assault or any other kind of sexual crime can call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or refer themselves to St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515.”