POLICE are hunting a sex attacker who assaulted a woman in gardens in Bournemouth.

The victim, a 44-year-old woman from Oxford, was sat on a bench at West Overcliff gardens when she was approached by a man.

He sat close to her before inappropriately touching her.

Police revealed details of the incident, which happened at around 1.30pm on Thursday, April 17, this afternoon.

PC Daniel Cullen, of Bournemouth police, said: “This was a distressing incident, but fortunately the victim was unharmed.

“I believe that the presence of a family with a dog nearby startled the offender. He fled and ran further into the West Overcliff gardens, in the direction of Durley Chine.”

The offender is described as a white man, of slim build, about 5ft 8in tall and in his mid-to-late 20s.

He was clean shaven and had dark hair that was short at the sides and a quiff at the front. He was wearing a bright royal blue polo shirt, possibly made by Ralph Lauren.

PC Cullen added: “I am appealing for witnesses who may have seen the assault to come forward. In particular I would like to speak to anyone who may have seen a man matching the offender’s description in the area at the time.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting incident number 17:212.

Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111, where mobile phone tariffs may apply.