Police investigating the alleged rape of a teenage girl on Blackpool seafront today released a picture of a man they want to track down.
It is now seven months since the reported attack – which is said to have happened close to North Pier and left a 14-year-old girl deeply traumatised.
Police say the man they now want to speak to (pictured) was seen with the girl around the time of the incident.
The alleged victim is believed to have met the man in the News and Booze off-licence on Talbot Road, between 10pm and 11pm on August 24.
The pair spoke before she walked willingly with him to the seafront.
However, it is thought the offender then became aggressive and raped the girl, who was on holiday in the resort at the time, during the terrifying late-night ordeal.
Det Insp Lee Wilson, of Blackpool Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “This was a vulnerable young girl who has been left traumatised by this incident.
“This is an extremely serious assault and we want to bring the offender to justice.”
Despite an appeal in The Gazette at the time of the incident, police have been unable to track down the man, thought to be in his 20s.
Detectives have now released this CCTV image, taken nearby, in the hopes it will lead to a breakthrough in the investigation.
Det Insp Wilson added: “That man is of significant interest to us and someone I am very keen to speak to.
“The victim’s family has also been traumatised by this whole episode and we are working to identify the offender.
“If anyone knows who he is I would urge them to contact us.”
At around 11.30pm on the night of the attack the victim was seen with the man.
Police say he spoke with an Irish accent and described him as a white male in his early 20s with dark hair. He wore blue jeans, white trainers and a red checked shirt.
Detectives say they believe he may have links to the Manchester area.
Anyone with information about the incident who recognises the man pictured is asked to call police on 101.