Girls hurt in attack

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A MAN has been arrested after three women were viciously attacked and spat on after boarding a train in Blackpool.

The young women – aged 16, 18 and 20 – were chatting to a group of four men on board the Blackpool North to Manchester train when one of them became aggressive and began spitting and shouting at them.

PC Matthew Morrison, from British Transport Police, said: “A group of three women began to converse with a group of four men on board the 8.40pm Blackpool North to Manchester Airport train.

“After around 20 minutes, one of the men suddenly became aggressive, spitting and shouting.

“An altercation took place between one of the women and the man, which resulted in the man then spitting on all three girls.

“He then punched them, even pushing one of their heads into a table as well as racially abusing them.

“When the train stopped at Bolton station the men left the service while shouting threatening abuse at the group.”

The terrifying attack happened around 20 minutes into the women’s journey on Sunday, July 21.

The victims continued their journey to Manchester where they reported the incident to police. They suffered injuries including bruising to the face and a sprained ankle but did not have to be taken to hospital.

Police say the girls were left shaken and distraught by the incident.

Officers launched an investigation and arrested a 19-year-old man from Bolton on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and a public order offence.

Rare

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the attack or anyone who has any information about the assault to come forward.

PC Morrison added: “Although violent attacks such as this are very rare on the network, officers are taking this investigation extremely seriously and would appeal for anyone else who was on board the train and witnessed the attack to come forward.”

The 19-year-old who was arrested has since been released on police bail until Monday, October 17.

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.

Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.