Girl, 9, 'fights off attacker who grabbed her while she played hide and seek'

 

A nine-year-old girl fought off an attacker who grabbed her as she played hide and seek with friends, police said.

The girl was playing in the gardens of Dartington Hall in Totnes in Devon, when she was approached from behind by a young man.

He grabbed her by the arm but the youngster, from the Totnes area, managed to kick him to the ground and run away.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the matter was being treated as an assault.

"Police are keen to identify the man who is described as white, in his 20s, around 5ft 6ins tall and with brown hair," the force spokesman said. "He was wearing a dark hooded jumper and possibly blue jeans."

The incident happened as the girl played hide and seek with her friends near to the donkey statue at Dartington Hall, between 3.30 and 5.30pm on October 12.

Vaughan Lindsay, chief executive officer of Dartington Hall Trust, which runs the estate, urged people to be "vigilant".

"The safety of our visitors and everyone living and working on the Dartington Hall estate is very important to us and we are taking this matter very seriously," Mr Lindsay said.

"We have alerted our local schools and community and are working closely with Devon and Cornwall constabulary who are treating the incident as an assault.

"Our security team will continue to monitor the situation and work with the local Police force and we would urge everyone to be vigilant at this time."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police.

PA