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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 15:03 GMT
Manhunt as girl taken from bath
Police at the scene
House to house inquiries have been carried out
The hunt is continuing for a man who snatched a six-year-old girl as she was having a bath, in what police describe as a "sexually-motivated attack".

Detectives say they have had a good response to appeals after the youngster was abducted from the ground-floor bathroom of her North Tyneside home.

She was reported missing on Tuesday evening and found a short time later in a distressed state in Willington Quay.

Police have described her attacker as "extremely dangerous".

They say they believe the man entered from the rear of the property.

Det Ch Insp Jim Napier, who is leading the inquiry, said: "From her account, somebody has been brazen enough to enter her house, take her away undressed and then assaulted her in a manner which is clearly sexually motivated, and then leave her in this lane, in the dark, on her own.

DCI Jim Napier
Police said they have had a good response to their inquiries

"I consider that individual to be extremely dangerous and that is why I am keen to trace that individual and arrest him."

He said they had had a very good response as a result of house-to-house inquiries and were following up that information as a priority.

Mr Napier said: "I am satisfied that the report, as it was given to us, is real, is credible and we are seeking to trace a male who is not known to the girl, who has entered the house and taken that girl out and conducted a sexually-motivated assault on her sometime on Tuesday night."

Northumbria Police said children playing in a back lane in the Willington Quay area may have seen a man, possibly middle-aged, who was wearing a dark coat and gloves, hanging around and acting suspiciously.

Screeching car

He may have been in a car or on foot, the detective said.

Officers also want to speak to anyone who saw a car being driven erratically in the area between 1900 and 1930 GMT on Tuesday.

Mr Napier said the car could have been screeching, either from the engine or its tyres.

Police were alerted by the girl's distraught mother when she discovered she was missing from the bathroom of their home where she had been having a bath.

The naked girl was found by a resident, wandering around in a distressed state.

Specially-trained officers have arranged to talk the girl through her ordeal to establish exactly what happened.




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