The sexual assault of a teenage girl in a popular town park has left a community shaken and horrified.

The 16-year-old was out running yesterday morning when a man assaulted her in Harris Park, Cockermouth. She escaped uninjured.

Councillors have been left shocked by the attack, describing it as “very unusual and unexpected” for the town.

Mayor of Cockermouth, Councillor Julie Laidlow, said: “Cockermouth is usually a very safe town, so it was a shock to hear about the assault.

“I really hope she’s alright, and this is just an isolated incident.”

She added: “People should continue with their exercise, and if we remain vigilant when outside, this sort of awful thing hopefully won’t happen again.”

Cockermouth town councillors Simon Nicholson and Alan Kennon were also “completely taken aback” by the assault, with Mr Kennon saying: “It’s just a very, very unusual sort of thing to happen here.

“There are normally a lot of people in that park – it’s a very popular place, especially with dog walkers.

“I just hope the girl is safe.”

Detective Inspector Martin Hodgson said: “Incidents such as this are extremely rare and I want to reassure the public that Cumbria police are taking this extremely seriously and have allocated a team of detectives to thoroughly investigate what [has] taken place.

“If you were in Harris Park around the time of the incident the again we would like to hear from you.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101, email, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting log 52 of the June 3.

  • A 19-year-old Carlisle man was arrested in relation to the incident.