POLICE have released images of a suspect after a woman was raped in central Brighton.

The woman, in her early 20s, was seen running from the Royal Pavilion Gardens in a “distressed state” at 5.45am on Saturday.

Seeing this, a passerby contacted the police.

The woman told police that she had been raped by a man in the area of the Indian Gate shortly beforehand.

Detective Inspector Duncan Elliott said: “This was a vicious attack that left the woman with a number of injuries that required hospital treatment. She is now receiving specialist support.”

The Pavilion was closed throughout the day and police cordoned off the gardens with crime scene tape.

A crime scene investigator was seen at the site photographing the scene.

Now police have released images of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident.

The Argus:

DI Elliot said: “We believe that the man in pictures may have important information and we would ask him or anyone who recognises him to contact us.

“We are also appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time or who may have a home or business with CCTV covering the area around the Pavilion."

A police spokesman has since confirmed the man in the images is a suspect.

The Argus:

Police are also appealing for anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage of the area at the time of the incident.

DI Elliot said: “Anyone driving with a dashcam operating might well have captured something that could be of interest to us.

“Please report online or call 101 quoting Operation Cobalt.”