17th September 2021

Police investigating ‘sexually-motivated assault’ on woman in her eighties in Taunton churchyard

Avon and Somerset Police investigating a ‘sexually-motivated assault’ on a woman in her eighties want to hear from anyone who was near St John’s Church, Staplegrove, Taunton, between 16:30 and 17:15 on Sunday 22 August.

Avon and Somerset Police said:

“The lady was walking through the churchyard in Manor Road when she came across a man who was exposing himself. The man approached her and took hold of her skirt.

Thankfully she was able to walk on and report the incident to family members, who contacted the police.

Understandably, while not injured, this incident has left her very distressed and reluctant to walk out on her own. Uniformed officers continue to carry out reassurance patrols in the area, although this is the only incident reported.

The lady has been able to describe the man as white and aged between 30 and 40 wearing an anorak and jeans. She said he had a dishevelled appearance and was overweight with “scraggly” mousey-brown hair.

The woman told officers she saw someone else on her walk who may have witnessed the incident and we’d urge that person to come forward.”

Police are appealing for anyone who was there or has dashcam or other footage which could help to call 101 quoting reference 5221193740. Alternatively ring the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.