Toddler sexually assaulted in Muirhouse playpark

The boy was assaulted early on Tuesday evening  in Pennywell Gardens. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The boy was assaulted early on Tuesday evening in Pennywell Gardens. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A MAJOR police investigation has been launched after a toddler was subjected to a sexual assault in a city playpark.

The young boy was playing near his mother in Pennywell Gardens, Muirhouse, when a man “inappropriately touched” him.

Police are probing the incident. Picture: John Devlin

Police are probing the incident. Picture: John Devlin

People living in the area said the attack had taken place in a playpark just off the street, but police refused to confirm that.

The boy, who is understood to be three years old, was assaulted at 6.45pm on Tuesday, while it was still light. The attacker then walked away from the scene towards Millennium Public Park and out of sight.

A family friend wrote on social media that the little boy was being “very brave” and “coping well” but said his parents were “distraught”.

The suspect is described as being 5ft 6in to 6ft tall, of a stocky build and unshaven appearance. He was wearing a brown leather jacket, dark-coloured woolly hat and dark trousers. Detective Chief Inspector Alwyn Bell said his officers were “extremely keen” to find the man as soon as possible.

He said: “I would encourage anyone who remembers seeing this man in the area of Pennywell Gardens to contact police immediately. He was wearing a woolly hat, which could be seen as unusual in warm temperatures. Understandably, the assault has shocked the family and they, like us, want to see the man brought to justice.”

Local councillor Cammy Day, the city council’s community safety leader, said he was horrified by the incident.

He said: “It’s horrendous to hear about this happening in broad daylight to a young boy in Muirhouse. It’s pretty shocking. Muirhouse has a strong community and I’m sure they will rally behind any support that the family needs.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.