Teenage woman sexually assaulted in Midlothian woods

A police hunt has been launched after a 19-year-old woman was the victim of a sexual assault on the same Midlothian path where murdered 14-year-old Jodi Jones’ body was discovered in 2003.

The woman was walking on a path through a wooded area south east of Newbattle Golf Club around 3pm yesterday (Sunday, 7 March, 2021) when the incident took place. It is understood her attacker fled when he was disturbed by a dog-walker.

In appealing for information, police are keen to trace a man in connection with the incident who is described as being 6ft in height, with a beard, pale skin, short brown hair, and had a local accent. He was wearing a blue hooded top, dark jacket and dark coloured trousers.

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Jodi Jones was found in the stretch of woodland near her home in Easthouses, Midlothian, in 2003.

An opening to the wooded area
An opening to the wooded area

Detective Inspector Susan Balfour of CID at Dalkeith Police Station said: “This is a particularly distressing incident for the woman, and I am appealing for anyone who may have been in the area to come forward.

“I would like to appeal directly to three people who may have information which could assist our investigation.

“We would been keen to speak from a dog walker who is described as being in his 60s, of heavy build, wearing a black coat and jeans. He was walking a black Spaniel. It is understood he may have disturbed the suspect.

"We are also keen to trace a woman who was walking with her two children, one possibly riding a scooter, with a small white dog near to the tunnel at Newbattle Community Campus.

"There was also a man who was walking near the skate park, he is described as being in his mid to late 20s, with a beard, wearing a grey hat and darker grey hooded top. We would be keen to speak to him.

"I would like to reassure the public that we are using all available means to identify the person responsible. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting 0603 of Monday, 8 March. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.”

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