AN IMAGE of a man wanted in connection with a sexual assault has been released by police after their inquiries drew a blank.

Police believed they were close to an arrest after the attack on the 34-year-old mother of two outside Snaresbrook Tube Station on Christmas Eve.

The British Transport Police (BTP) delayed releasing CCTV images but, with leads running dry, they hope the picture may jog some memories.

The woman was returning home to Woodford Green after a shopping trip when she noticed a man, who appeared to be talking on his mobile phone, loitering on the opposite side of the station footbridge.

When she reached the stairs and turned the corner, the man, who appeared to have been waiting for her, grabbed her from behind and put his hand up her skirt.

The woman was able to push him away and he walked off in the direction of Wanstead Tube Station.

Detective Sergeant Maggie Storey said: “Following our previous appeal for information in the Guardian, we received information from members of the public and followed up on some promising lines of inquiry but to no avail so far.

“The CCTV image has been circulated on police intelligence systems and to local neighbourhood policing teams, and anyone who recognises the man is asked to get in contact.”

The woman urged people to help police with their inquiries, adding: “I want to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. It is not acceptable behaviour and if this encourages people to come forward, so much the better.”

The man in the image is described as olive-skinned around 5ft 8in, and in his late 20s. He wore a beige jacket and black hat, and spoke with a slight European accent.

• Anyone with information about the incident, which took place at around 3.15pm on Saturday, December 24, should contact BTP on 0800 405 040, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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