POLICE are searching for a potential witness in connection with a rape investigation.

An investigation was launched into a report that a woman, who was aged in her forties, had been raped in the area of York Road, Southend.

The incident was reported on the evening of Thursday, October 26.

Essex Police are now trying to track down any witnesses who were in the area at the time.

A force spokesman said: “We are trying to trace a potential witness who may have information that can assist with an investigation into a reported incident in Southend.

“We are investigating a report a woman aged in her 40s was raped in the York Road area on the evening of Thursday, October 26.”

Police are searching for a man who was captured on CCTV in the area at the time when the incident took place.

The potential witness was seen in the area at 10.10pm that evening.

Police believe that the man had walked from York Road towards Southend Central train station.

In light of their appeal, Essex Police released a picture of the man they would like to speak to.

The man is in his 50s, bald and wore a black fleece or coat.

Police also released further description of other witnesses they would like speak to in connection with the incident, however, there were no pictures of the potential witnesses.

The police spokesman added: “We are also still trying to trace another potential witness who was seen crossing the Queensway dual carriageway just before 9.50pm that day.

“He wore light coloured jeans, a white top and a dark jacket.

“He was walking in the direction of Southend town centre at the same time as a man and a woman were crossing the road and walking in the opposite direction.

“We ask both men to please contact the Adult Sexual Abuse Investigation Team at Southend on 101.”

Following the incident in York Road last year, one man has been arrested and charged by police.

Collin Gibson, 26, unemployed, of East Street, Southend, was charged with rape and a burglary on October 26.

He was also charged with possession of cannabis on November 3.

Gibson has denied both the rape and burglary charges.

He is due to stand trial at Basildon Crown Court on April 23.

If you have any information regarding the incident, you can contact you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.