Detectives have released CCTV footage and an image of a man they wish to trace after a woman was sexually assaulted in Tower Hamlets.

At around 06:40hrs on Saturday, 8 September, the victim – a 23-year-old woman – was walking alone in Royal Mint Street, E1 when she was grabbed from behind by a man. He then forced her to the ground but fled the scene when he noticed a white van travelling along the road.

The victim spoke to the driver of the van, who confirmed he had witnessed the attack. It is believed the driver chased after the suspect.

The victim continued to her place of work where she reported the attack.

Police are keen to speak with the driver of the van and anyone else who has any information that may assist the investigation.

The suspect is described as an Asian man, aged between 20 and 25 years, about 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky build. He had black wavy hair with a curtain fringe haircut. At the time of the offence he was wearing a black Puffa-style jacket and black jogging bottoms.

Detective Constable Safdar Mahmood, from the Central East Command Unit, said: “This is a horrific attack on a lone female. Thankfully the timely appearance of the white van prevented further harm to the victim.”

Anyone with information should contact Detective Constable Safdar Mahmood via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit

You can also Tweet information to police @MetCC.

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