A GROUP of teenagers helped distract a man who grabbed a woman and started threatening her.

The victim was walking in Barncroft Drive, Lindfield, when the stranger approached.

Sussex Police believe he only ran off because about 15 teenagers turned into the same road.

The woman was physically hurt but she was left shaken by the incident.

The man was described as white, in his late 40s or early 50s and had a beard.

The investigation into the incident is at an early stage and police say the exact motive has not been established.

Officers are continuing to make enquiries in the area.

The attack happened between 4.45pm and 5.30pm on Thursday.

Anyone who was in the immediate area at the time and may have further information, is asked to contact police as soon as possible.

Officers are also keen to speak to any of the group of teenagers who were in Barncroft Drive and could help with the investigation.

People can get in touch online via sussex.police.uk.

Alternatively they can call the non-emergency number 101, quoting the serial 1093 of 09/11.