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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Girls stabbed in frenzied attack
Stab victim / by Alan McNamee
The 14-year-old victim is tended to by ambulance paramedics
A "highly dangerous" man who stabbed three girls after an argument on a bus in Dorset is being hunted by police.

Police described the attack on three teenagers in Bridport on Wednesday as "sustained and frenzied".

Charlotte Teague, 14, Sophie Hyne, 15, both from Bridport, and Kirsty Edwards, 17, from Staffordshire, were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Officers sealed off East Street in the town after the stabbing, which happened as the girls got off the number 31 bus.

Police raid

Dorset Police said there had been a dispute between the girls and their attacker before the stabbing.

At a press conference on Thursday, Ch Insp Nick Maton said police are increasing patrols in Bridport town centre.

It is exceptionally unusual for a stabbing to occur in Bridport
Ch Insp Nick Maton

Later police raided a house in Alexandra Road, Bridport, as the search for the attacker continued.

Ch Insp Maton said: "This male is still believed to be in possession of a knife and is considered to be highly dangerous.

"It's a horrific incident. It is exceptionally unusual for a stabbing to occur in Bridport, let alone a multiple stabbing of three young girls."

He warned the public not to approach the suspect.

"If they see anybody who matches this description they should immediately dial 999," he said.

Ch Insp Maton said the girls had been to Weymouth before catching the bus.

They started talking to a man in his 20s, whom they did not know, and a verbal dispute ensued.

The man then followed them off the bus and Ch Insp Maton said that, at 1750 BST, a "sustained and frenzied attack" took place.

The bus stop in Bridport where the girls were stabbed
The girls were attacked after leaving the number 31 bus

Witness Sue Matthews, who was on the bus, said: "I just saw him lashing out. He was punching them. I didn't actually see a weapon.

Ms Matthews then went to stem the bleeding from a girl with a stomach wound. "I held the tea towel over the girl's tummy," she said.

A local restaurant owner heard their screams and ran to help.

Rasheed Ahmed said: "Blood was coming out and she [one of the girls] was crying and calling for her mum, and phoning her mum 'come and help me'.

"Another girl was bleeding heavily."

Reported sightings

The three girls were treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.

On Thursday afternoon, police said 14-year-old Charlotte was moved from intensive care to a general ward where she remains in a stable condition.

Kirsty, 17, who was on holiday in Dorset visiting her two friends, and Sophie are also in a stable condition on a general ward.

The attacker is described as being in his 20s, with dark hair and was wearing a dark coloured bomber-style jacket, dark tracksuit trousers, a dark baseball cap and light-coloured trainers.

School shocked

Police have seized the number 31 Charmouth to Weymouth bus, which the girls had travelled on, and are examining CCTV footage.

They are also responding to a number of reported sightings.

Charlotte and Sophie were both students at Sir John Colfox Secondary School in Bridport.

Head teacher Kay Taylor described both girls as "loyal to their friends and caring towards others".

She said: "The whole school is shocked by the attack on Charlotte and Sophie and their friend. Our thoughts are with the girls and their families and we wish them a speedy recovery.

An eye-witness describes what she saw

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