Woman 'Cowardly' Attacked And Sexually Assaulted In Sydney's West
A woman is in hospital after being beaten and sexually assaulted in what police are calling a “cowardly” attack.
The 51-year-old woman was walking along a track in Lighthorse Park, Liverpool, at about 11.55pm on Sunday when she saw a man lurking nearby.
Police said the man walked towards her as she approached the stairs to Newbridge Road, punching her in the face several times before sexually assaulting her.
Detective Chief Inspector Dean Johnstone called the attack both "concerning" and "cowardly".
"A woman walking on her own has been approached by an unknown male," he said.
"The attack itself was cowardly."
The woman's friend Alexei was three minutes away and could hear her screaming for help. But by the time he arrived, the offender had fled.
"I heard screaming and I wasn’t sure if it was her or who was screaming. Then as I was getting closer, I realised it was her," he told 10 News First.
"She was crying, her face was all bleeding, both eyes were bleeding and she was all shaken up; I immediately ran up the stairs.”
That's when he saw three women he is now calling “heroes”. They had seen the attack from a distance and ran to help her.
When the offender saw them he ceased his assault and fled up the stairs towards Newbridge Road.
"I actually do want to say a big thanks to them because without them, something much worse would have happened,” Alexei told Ten News First.
"They chased the guy upstairs and saw him run towards George Street.”
Footage recovered by police shows the man later entering a dentist carpark on Terminus Street where he took off his jumper and changed into light-coloured clothes.
On cameras further up, the man is seen turning right to retrieve a bicycle that he rode away on towards the Hume Highway.
Police have launched an investigation to track down the man and will canvass the area for CCTV.
"Any violent offence is of a concern. This matter has our priority," Det. Insp. Johnstone said.
He urged witnesses or members of the public with dashcam footage to come forward.
The woman is recovering in Liverpool Hospital after suffering cuts and bruises to her face, and damage to her teeth.
She’s been cleared for discharge but is likely to stay the night fearing the man who attacked her is still on the loose.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.