Police are looking for a good samaritan who helped a woman after she had been sexually assaulted and robbed.
The 45-year-old woman had been walking along the The Slipe, the footpath that runs between Queens Park and Bedford, at around 4.20pm, heading for the town centre.
On reaching the railway bridges that span the river, she heard footsteps behind her and was suddenly grabbed from behind and pushed over.
The man then sat astride her, pinned her to the floor and sexually assaulted her.
The woman feared the assault was going to get worse but suddenly the man then picked up the handbag she had dropped on the floor and ran off with it.
The woman was helped shortly after the assault by a man who also spoke to police officers when they arrived at the scene, but he did not leave his name.
Det Con Luke Moore would like this kind person to get in touch, as he may have more details to help in the investigation.
The woman made her way back to her neighbour’s house and was later seen at hospital for a very large bruise to her head and concussion. The attacker is described as white, aged around 25-30 years old, very short - possibly 5ft 2ins - wearing a dirty/scruffy black tracksuit and with a gaunt, thin face and a pointed chin.
DC Moore said: “The woman was understandably terrified by the whole incident.
“Fortunately, for some reason, the man suddenly stopped the assault and instead ran off with her handbag.
“We’d really like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time who might have seen this man before or after the offence and in particular the gent who stopped to help the lady and spoke with uniformed officers.”
If you can help, please contact Det Con Moore direct at Bedford CID on 01234 275011, or call the 24-hour non-emergency police number 101, text the control room direct on 07786 200011 or contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.