Schoolgirl raped in daylight in woods near academy as pupils left class and cops hunt attacker

COPS are hunting a rapist who attacked a schoolgirl in broad daylight near an academy as pupils left classes for the day.

The youngster was walking through woodland when she was targeted close to Farnley Academy in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

She managed to break free and flee to safety after horror unfolded at around 3.30pm yesterday.

The attack was reported to police shortly before 11.30pm.

Detectives say they're searching for a tall white man in his 40s with short brown hair.

Farnley Academy's principle Chris Stokes alerted parents to the sex attack today.

Teachers have been deployed to provide extra security for pupils leaving the school site.

Police said today the student was walking between the school and Maple Croft in New Farnley when she was approached.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Tony Nicholson said: “We are treating this incident very seriously and have specialist safeguarding officers supporting the victim while we continue to establish the full circumstances.

HORROR IN BROAD DAYLIGHT

“We are carrying out extensive enquiries and would like to hear from anyone who witnessed any part of the incident or who has any information that could assist the investigation, particularly if they saw anyone fitting the description of the suspect in the area around the time of the offence.

“We recognise that an incident of this nature next to a local school will cause understandable concern in the community.

"We are working closely with our colleagues on the local neighbourhood policing team who are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure people and linking with key local contacts to keep them updated.”

Academy Principal Mr Stokes informed parents:”I am writing to advise you that a person under the age of 16 has been subjected to a serious sexual assault in the wooded area next to school.

“A police investigation is taking place in relation to the incident.

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“At the end of the day, today, we will be deploying additional members of staff into the area to ensure that students are able to proceed through the woods safely.”

The nearby Lawns Park Primary School has also alerted parents.

Anyone who witnessed any part of the incident or who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 quoting crime reference 13220007121.

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