By Paul Thornton
POLICE are hunting a sex attacker after he targeted two young women in Edinburgh within 15 minutes of each other.
Both victims, each aged 24, were walking on or near to Easter Road when a young man approached them and made inappropriate comments before attacking them.
During the first assault, around midnight, the man grabbed his victim before her screams drove him away down the nearby Bothwell Street.
Just 15 minutes later the man crept behind another female on Albert Street before grabbing her and punching her on the head before fleeing.
The shaken woman was left with a cut above her eye.
Now officers investigating the attacks have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
They described the man as white with fair hair, between 18 and 25-years-old with a slim build and blue eyes.
He was wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeved top.
Police say they are particularly keen to speak to a witness, the driver of a white van who helped the second witness just after the incident.
Detectives are also keen to speak to anyone who may have been drinking in the Utopia bar on Easter Road and who may have seen the man responsible.
The suspect is described as white, fair/blond hair, between 18 and 25-years-old with a slim build and blue eyes. He was wearing blue jeans and a light-coloured long-sleeved top.
A police spokesman said: “We know that a man driving a white van helped the second victim soon after she was attacked and we would urge him to come forward to help with our enquiries.
“These assaults took place over a bank holiday weekend and we believe there may have been a number of patrons within the Utopia bar who may have seen the suspect and can assist us in identifying him.
“We are also eager to speak to anyone with information that has yet to come forward and would ask they contact police immediately.”
“Fortunately, neither woman was seriously injured as a result of these attacks. Nevertheless, we are treating this extremely seriously and are eager to speak to anyone who can help us identify the person responsible.
“Given the proximity of both assaults and the consistent description of the suspect, we believe these incidents were carried out by the same man and would urge anyone who was in or around Easter Road, Albion Street or Albert Street and saw anything suspicious to contact police immediately.
“Similarly, anyone with information that can assist with our enquiries should also get in touch as soon as possible.”