05/10/2012 14:08 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Schoolgirl Jumped Into Canal To Escape Sex Attacker

Schoolgirl jumps into Union canal at Ratho to escape sex attacker who grabbed her PA

A teenager was forced to jump into a canal to escape the clutches of a sex attacker.

The 15-year-old was walking home from school along the Union Canal path near Ratho, Edinburgh at around 4.45 on Thursday, having just got off a bus, when he struck.

He grabbed her from behind, and when she turned around, exposed himself to her.

The teenager managed to struggle free and run away, but upon realisng the man was following her, jumped into the canal to escape him.

The male then ran off, and the girl got out of the water and phoned the police.

Lothian and Borders Police say they are now checking CCTV to try and identify the man, who is described as white, in his early-20s, around 5ft 9in and slim.

He was said to have short, dark, spiky hair, and was wearing a grey cardigan with buttons, loose jeans and in possession of a white shoulder bag that may have had a Gola logo on it.

Detective Inspector David Storey told the Daily Record: "This has been a terrible experience for the girl involved. Although she escaped any injury, she has been understandably shaken as a result."

He said that she had given officers a 'good description' of the man, and appealed for members of the public to get in touch if they recognised him.

"Our inquiries are at an early stage but we believe the suspect may have also got off the bus at Ratho behind the girl. So we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been on the number 12 from Edinburgh last night and who have seen this man to contact us."