WITNESSES are being sought after a teenage girl was assaulted in South Woodham Ferrers.

The girl was walking between Taffrail Gardens and Broughton Road, when a man accosted her at about 8.30am this morning.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "The man threatened the girl with what is believed to be a retractable knife and attempted to pull her towards what the victim described as garages with trees nearby.

"The man then cut the girl, before she managed to get free from the man’s grip and run to safety.

"She is with specialist officers and is being treated by medical staff."

Police are appealing for information to help catch the suspect, who has been described to be between the age of 35 and 40.

The spokesman added: "The man was described by the victim as having pale white skin, being between the ages of 35 to 40, of a medium build with brown hair.

"He was wearing a brown jacket, over the top of a black hooded top, black trousers, a black baseball cap and dull orange trainers."

Witnesses or anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area around this time is asked to contact Ds Dan Smith at Chelmsford CID on 101, quoting incident 226 of May 17.

People can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information.