Police in hunt for underpass sex attacker

The underpass has been cordoned off
The underpass has been cordoned off
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Police are hunting a sex attacker after a young woman was assaulted near a railway underpass.

The 23-year-old was attacked in the Sighthill area of the city late on Monday night.

The incident happened some time between 11pm and midnight on Monday at Cultins Road near the Edinburgh Park train station, where a walkway and cycle path, which is well used by commuters, links Sightill Industrial Estate with South Gyle.

Police had cordoned off the underpass early yesterday morning, with several uniformed officers on the scene.

A pathway leading from the underpass through ongoing tram preparation works had also been closed off, with walkers and cyclists diverted over the train station bridge.

The sex attack happened a short distance from the scene of a serious sexual assault in Broomhouse Road last week, in which a 16-year girl was attacked. That incident took place behind a blue changing pavilion on the edge of Sighthill Park at around 9.10pm on Monday, January 23. Detectives are checking lists of known sex offenders in an effort to identify potential suspects following that incident.

Police today stressed that it was too early in the latest investigation to say whether or not the two attacks were linked.

Commuters at Edinburgh Park station were shocked at news of the attack, which happened just a short distance from a hotel and the Hermiston Gait Retail Park.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said: “I go through that underpass every day on my way from work and there isn’t a light – you are in complete darkness. The tunnel was renovated but they didn’t even put a light in.

“I go through it to get the No 35 bus to my partner’s house and it is very intimidating. I’m not going to be using it again.”

Another woman said: “It’s just terrifying. I certainly wouldn’t walk through this area at night.”

Police said they were unable to release a description of the attacker at this stage.

A spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating following a report of sexual assault on a 23-year-old woman in the Cultins Road area of Edinburgh.

“The incident happened some time between 11pm on Monday and 12am on Tuesday.

“Inquiries are at an early stage and anyone with information that can assist detectives with the investigation is asked to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information can call the police on 0131-311 3131.