'I tried to stop him but I couldn't': Girl, 15, raped in sea at Bournemouth speaks out about ordeal

File photo dated 17/07/21 of people enjoying the weather on Bournemouth beach in Dorset. Humans are unequivocally driving global warming - with impacts from heatwaves to rising seas and extreme rain already seen around the world, a new UN report warns. Issue date: Monday August 9, 2021.
People enjoying the weather on Bournemouth beach in Dorset in August. (PA)

A girl, 15, who was raped in the sea off Bournemouth beach has opened up about the ordeal as part of a national police appeal to find the suspect. 

The girl was throwing a ball with her friends in the water near to the Oceanarium at around on 18 July this year. 

In a statement, read out on BBC One Crimewatch Live on Monday, the victim described how a man - or boy - refused to give it back to her when it landed near him. 

"So I went closer to him and said 'can I have my ball back,'" she said.

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"He gave it to me and I threw it to my friend but before I could leave, he started to touch my arm and said come with me."

The girl said another man was making her friend feel uncomfortable but she managed to get out of the sea. 

"I was alone now and the guy started pulling me out to deeper water and I couldn't feel my feet on the sea floor. 

"It's then he started touching me and I was telling him 'no' and to get off me. No one could see what was happening. That's when he raped me."

The girl said his friend then came back over and he stopped so she then managed to get to the shore.

"I was in tears. I told my friend what had happened and I was really hurting so I went to the toilet," she said. 

"Then the guy came up to me again and was asking how to contact me. Eventually my friend made him go away and that's the last I saw of him."

The girl said the incident has changed her "a lot", and that she cannot face going outside anymore. 

"I feel just frightened and vulnerable. I am so scared and worried that people will judge me for what happened.

People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth Beach in Dorset. Picture date: Monday September 6, 2021.
People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth Beach in Dorset. Picture date: Monday September 6, 2021.

"I didn't ask for this - I tried to stop him but I couldn't."

In a statement on Monday, Dorset Police added that the offender told the girl he was 17-years-old, that he was from Birmingham and his name was "Dabby".

The force said he is described as possibly of Asian descent and with tanned skin, around five feet six inches tall and of a thin but muscular build.

He also is described as having short dark hair that was pushed back and looked freshly trimmed while he was wearing black or grey swimming shorts.

Police have released an e-fit of the people they want to talk to in relation to the incident. 

Police released an e-fit of the suspect.
Police released an e-fit of the suspect.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour said: “First and foremost I would like to thank the victim for her support of the televised appeal and the courage she has shown in assisting our investigation as we continue to do all we can to identify the offender in this case.

He added: “I am continuing to appeal for anyone with information that might assist our enquiries to please come forward and make contact with us. Even if it is just a seemingly small bit of information, it might assist us with piecing together the evidence in this case and tracking down the culprit.

“I would repeat our previous plea for anyone who exchanged Snapchat messages with a number of young Asian men who were reported to be approaching female beachgoers on the date of the incident to come forward. We are also again issuing an e-fit image of the suspect that has been produced and would urge anyone who recognises him to please contact us.

“We do have forensic evidence that means we will be able to eliminate anyone who was not involved from our enquiries.”

Detectives are urging anyone with information relevant to the investigation to submit it via the UK Police Major Incident Public Portal, contact Dorset Police by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210115587 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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