POLICE investigating the sexual assault of an eight-year-old girl in Padiham have released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to.

Officers said the youngster was near the bridge, which runs over a brook between Mini Sport, just off Thompson Street, and Canning Street, when she was approached by the attacker on Thursday, January 2nd.

The girl said she did not know the man.

Inquiries are on-going to try to establish the exact circumstances and to try to trace the offender.

Extra patrols will be in the local area a week on from the incident to re-assure the local community.

A 26-year-old man and a 19-year-old man, both from the local area, were arrested earlier this week but have been eliminated from the inquiry.

Detective Insp Jim Elston, of Pennine CID, said: “I would appeal to anyone who recognises the male depicted on the images or indeed that person himself to get in touch with us as a matter of urgency.

“I would like to reassure people that offences like this are very rare. We are carrying out a number of inquiries and we have a team of detectives working to try to catch this offender.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 418 of January 2nd or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.