POLICE have appealed for witnesses after a “frightening” sex attack on a woman walking home.

The 19-year-old victim was walking in Marine Parade, Brighton, at 5.30am on Sunday.

She was approached by the suspect who tried to talk with her.

But he attacked her at the junction of Seymour Street.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, resisted her attacker, struggled free from him, and fled.

Police say the suspect is mixed race, tall, and in his late 30s, with a flat black afro. He wore square rimmed glasses.

Offiers fear it may be linked to a similar sexual assault in Ditchling Road, Brighton, on July 24 at 1.35am.

Detective Inspector Duncan Elliott said: “This was a very frightening experience for the woman, who is receiving support and assistance from specialist officers.

“It is vital that we trace this man and an intensive investigation began immediately on Sunday morning.”

DI Elliott said a suspect with a similar description attacked a woman walking home in July near the junction with Princes Crescent.

On that occasion a man tried to talk with a woman, then sexually assaulted her when she resisted. He ran off towards London Road and disappeared, the detective said.

He added: “We have carried out very thorough and detailed enquiries into this attack including visits to all addresses in the vicinity, and the victim has also been receiving support from specialist officers, but so far the assailant has not been traced.

“From the descriptions in each case, and the circumstances of the attacks, including other information, we believe they may well be linked.

“However they are isolated incidents and not part of any wider pattern. Our investigations are continuing and our patrolling officers are paying extra attention to the areas involved and anyone with concerns can speak to them at any time.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information about the suspect is asked to call 101 and quote 293 of 06/10. For the incident in July, quote reference 208 of 24/07.