Girl aged 12 raped on way to school

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The Independent Online

A 12-year-old girl was dragged into a front garden and raped as she walked to school, police said today.

The girl was in Leytonstone, east London, when a man approached her from behind and began talking to her.

Police said the man suddenly grabbed the girl and forced her into a garden where she suffered a 10-minute ordeal.

The man used a zipped-up dark jacket to partially conceal his face during the attack which took place at about 8.25am yesterday.

Police appealed for witnesses, particularly a woman who may have walked past shortly beforehand, to contact them.

Detective Inspector Declan Williams said the girl was attacked at the junction of Worsley Road and Cann Hall Road a few minutes after getting off a bus.

He said: "This is a busy area at a busy time of day and we would appeal for anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious to please come forward.

"The victim remembers seeing a woman on the opposite side of the road shortly before she was attacked - if that woman was you please contact us.

"The victim, who is just 12 years old, has naturally been left deeply traumatised by what has happened."

Anyone with information should call 020 8435 3401 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

* A 19-year-old man was being questioned at Ilford police station today on suspicion of rape after he was arrested last night.