Police have boosted patrols around a quiet residential area after a woman was indecently assaulted by an intruder who broke into her home in the middle of the night.
The 27-year-old was left “traumatised” after waking to find a man in the bedroom of her flat in Orchard Place, Livingston.
Neighbours in the quiet cul-de-sac today spoke of their shock at the assault, which police are treating as an isolated incident.
But police patrols in the area have been stepped up to reassure residents and officers have been conducting extensive door-to-door inquiries.
Police have urged anyone with any information they think could aid the investigation to get in touch.
Detective Superintendent Pat Campbell, pictured below, said the assault appeared to be “random”.
One theory being examined by police is that he gained access through a window which may have been unlocked,
Mr Campbell said: “There was very little in terms of speech, no threats, no demands.”
He added: “We have not had any similar attacks at all. It’s a unique and rare attack, and this male may have been in the area for some time before. It’s a very quiet residential area and a lot of families live here. There’s a lot of high visibility patrols that will continue over coming days and weeks ahead.
“We have done house-to-house and a leaflet drop. We would ask residents to call us if there’s anyone wandering around at all. We have still to establish whether he came through the window. That is one area we are looking at, to see if he entered through insecurity.
“He would appear to have been alone,”
The incident took place at around 3.30am on Wednesday.
The intruder is described as being white, 20 to 30 years old, 5ft 9in to 6ft tall, of medium build and with short dark brown hair.
He was wearing a distinctive light grey big-sized hooded sweatshirt, dark trousers or jeans, black trainers and smelled strongly of cigarette smoke. After the suspect left, the victim immediately alerted the police.
Det Supt Campbell said that officers had checked police records throughout the east of Scotland and even further afield to confirm that there had been no similar incidents reported elsewhere.
Police believe that the man was on his own, and although he did not speak very much during the ordeal, he is thought to have a local accent.
Orchard Place resident Colin Hutchison said he was shocked by the assault. NHS worker Mr Hutchison said: “I have only been in this area for two months and I like it. It’s beautiful. You don’t expect something like this to happen. It’s absolutely mind-blowing.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.