Police hunt sex attacker targeting women on footpaths in Cheshire and Manchester

Ten victims assaulted by man on mountain bike over six-day period

Peter Stubley
Saturday 13 March 2021 20:04 GMT
Three attacks took place on the Bridgewater Canal towpath in Sale, Greater Manchester
Three attacks took place on the Bridgewater Canal towpath in Sale, Greater Manchester (Google)

Police are hunting for a serial sex attacker after 10 women were targeted by a cyclist on footpaths in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

Detectives from two police forces are working together on the case because of the similarity of the assaults between 2 and 7 March.

In each incident a man on a mountain bike approached the victim from behind before touching them inappropriately as he rode past.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has identified seven incidents which it believes involved the same man.

Three took place on the Bridgewater Canal in Sale, at 6pm on 2 March, at 6.20pm on 3 March and 9.20am on 6 March.

They were followed by three attacks on 6 March, including at 4.50pm on Bridgewater Way, Old Trafford, at 6.20pm on Little Ees Lane in Sale, and at 6.45pm on a towpath near the River Mersey.

The seventh attack took place at 10.42am on 7 March on Bridgewater Canal, Timperley.

Sergeant Helen Bagnall, of GMP’s Trafford district, said: “Due to the similarity and pattern of this offending, we believe the same person is responsible.

“If you have seen anyone who matches the description, seen anyone acting suspiciously in the areas concerned, or have any information that can assist our investigations, please get in touch.

“While thankfully no one has been injured during these incidents, they have left the women involved understandably distressed.”

Cheshire Police is investigating three attacks on the Trans Pennine Trail in Lymm between 6 and 7 March.

A spokesperson said: “On the three occasions reported to us, the suspect has approached victims from behind on a mountain bike, before touching them inappropriately while riding past.

“We are taking these incidents seriously, as it is causing distress to those who have been targeted by this man and we understand the concern it is causing in the community.

“Since Monday, we have been patrolling the area and are working with Greater Manchester Police – who have had similar incidents reported to them.”

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in relation to the Manchester incidents.

Anyone with information should call police on 101, GMP on 0161 856 7544 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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