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Detectives are appealing for the public’s help after a woman was sexually assaulted in a car in Southport.

The 30-year-old victim and a friend got in a car they believed to be a taxi after leaving the Fox and Goose pub in Cable Street at about 2.05am on Wednesday, 4 February.

It is believed the vehicle, described as a dark-coloured saloon car with an illuminated taxi sign on the roof, was parked on Cable Street between 1am and 2.05am. It then reversed out onto Nevill Street and continued toward the monument on Lord Street.

After the 30-year-old’s friend was dropped off at her home, the driver took the woman to her street and stopped before reaching the house. He then got into the back of the vehicle where he sexually assaulted her.

The woman then managed to get out of the car and run away.

The male driver is described as white, bald, in his 40s or 50s, and clean shaven with long teeth.

Officers are appealing for anyone who might have any information about this incident to come forward, particularly anyone who may have seen the car outside the pub.

Detective Constable Rose Aitken, from Sefton CID, said: “Although the victim wasn’t hurt, she was left extremely distressed by her ordeal.

“I’d like to appeal to anyone who may have seen anything to contact us. We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who might have seen the vehicle described in the area of Cable Street, as they could have vital information that could help our investigation.

“Incidents of this nature are, thankfully, rare and allegations of sexual assault are dealt with by specially trained officers.

“Anyone using taxis should be aware that genuine taxi drivers will display their identity and official licence plates. In addition, private hire vehicles will not accept fares direct from the street – all journeys should be booked in advance using an operator.”

Anyone who recognises the description of the man or the car, or has any information about this incident is urged to call Sefton CID on 0151 777 3059 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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