By Shaun Milne
THE FAMILY of an 18-year-old girl brutally raped in North Berwick have made an emotional appeal for help in catching her attacker.
She was assaulted outside Blenheim House Hotel in the early hours of Tuesday and only escaped when a passer-by came to her aid.
In a statement issued through Lothian and Borders Police, they spoke of the horror the young woman had been put through.
They said: “Why anyone should want to inflict such pain upon a fellow human is hard for us all to comprehend.
“We are anxious that the person who did this is caught.
“We are appealing for people to come forward with any information they might have that can help police find the man who attacked our daughter.”
They added: “We are struggling to come to terms with what has happened to our daughter. We are totally devastated, and so are our family and friends”.
The girl had been walking down the seaside town’s High Street when she was followed by one of two men she had seen outside the Quarterdeck pub around 12.40am.
He pounced on her near the Royal Bank of Scotland and pushed her into a lane next to the hotel before unleashing a violent attack leaving her injured, traumatised and needing medical attention.
Her ordeal only ended when a member of the public came to her aid and the suspect escaped.
The family praised the have a go hero, adding: “We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everybody for the kind words and support we have received during this harrowing time.”
Police probing the incident, headed by DI Stuart Hood, said they were particularly keen to hear from two middle aged women spotted in the area at the time who may have witnessed the attacker or the man he had been with earlier.
He said: “In particular, we are keen to speak to two middle-aged women who were seen walking along the High Street at around the time the assault took place, as they may have information that is vital to the investigation.
“Similarly, we remain keen to speak to anyone who was in the vicinity of the High Street or Westgate areas of North Berwick late on Monday night or into the early hours of Tuesday morning, whether on foot or in a vehicle.
“Anyone who was in the area during these times, and hasn’t yet contacted police, should come forward immediately.”
Anyone with information was asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.