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A woman was sexually assaulted in Bournemouth Gardens this morning

A witness appeal is underway

A woman was sexually assaulted in a "horrific" attack in Bournemouth this morning, police have said.

The victim was walking through Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens when she was approached from behind and attacked by a man at 5:40am.

The woman, who is in her 40s, was taken to hospital and her condition has been described as stable.

Dorset Police were called to the scene at around 6:12am after reports of a woman found with injuries. The police have since said they are investigating the attack and looking for any witnesses to come forward.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour said that since the incident there will be an increase in police presence in the Lower Gardens.

He said: "The victim has been subjected to a horrific ordeal and is being supported by specially-trained officers.

"I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of Lower Gardens around the time of the incident and witnessed any suspicious activity or a man matching the description given to please contact us."

The man is described as aged in his 30s, with dark hair and facial hair.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour added: "I appreciate this incident may cause some concern for members of the public. I would like to reassure them that a full investigation is underway to identify the man responsible.

"While we do not want to cause any undue alarm, and incidents of this nature are thankfully rare, we would urge people to remain vigilant when heading to work in the early hours of the morning."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, by their email [email protected] or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190178951.