By Oliver Farrimond
A TEENAGE girl was the victim of a serious sexual assault at the Royal Highland Show in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The 17-year-old was attacked outside portable toilets near a marquee where the Young Farmers Ball was being held.
Although not physically injured by the assault, a police spokesman said that the teenager was extremely shocked and distressed.
The spokesman said: “The incident happened between 00.30am and 1am and there would have been a lot of people in the area at the time.
“Party goers would have been queuing for the toilets and we are urging anyone who perhaps saw an incident involving a man and a young woman or the victim in a distressed state to contact us.”
Police are now hunting for a suspect described as being white, in his mid to late 20s and around 5ft 10ins in height.
Wearing a dark blue rugby shirt and blue jeans, he was also described as having “gelled hair in a messy style with a distinctive small nose”.
Three years ago another 17-year-old was while attending the same event, although no suspect was ever charged.
Penny Laird, national secretary for the Scottish Association of Young Farmers clubs, said: “A licensed security firm was on hand to deal with the 2,000 people at the event.
“Because the area where the dancing was happening backs onto the police station at the airport, they quite often patrol around as well.
“We only became aware of the incident when the police put up security tape around the portaloos – that area is well lit with big tower lights on site.”
Police believe that the suspect may have been at the dance in the company of a group of other young men – one of whom had on a distinctive Australian-style bush hat, was wearing a red top with white lettering on it and blue jeans.
A police spokesman added: “We know there are numerous events going on across the Force area this weekend and while we hope everyone has a good time, we want it to be memorable for all the right reasons.
“We would encourage them to be mindful of their own safety, especially when they have been consuming alcohol – it is a time when they are most vulnerable.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 551 1111.