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FIEND FORCED GIRL TO STRIP AT KNIFEPOINT; Beast followed pals from school.

Byline: JAMES TAIT

A VILE sex beast forced a terrified 12-year-old girl to strip at knifepoint after following her home from school.

The pervert watched the schoolgirl say goodbye to a friend then stalked her to an upmarket Edinburgh suburb.

The man forced his way into his victim's home and threatened her with a knife before trying to remove her clothes and sexually assault her. Only the girl's desperate screams frightened him off.

Detectives hunting the fiend described him as a "real danger".

They believe that he trailed the two girls home from school before deciding which one to attack.

The second girl saw a man follow her friend in to a close but did not realise he was stalking her.

Det Insp Jacqueline Conway said: "The fact that the girl's screaming was sustained unsettled the man and he made off before anything really horrible happened."

The assault took place just two miles from where an 11-year-old schoolgirl was raped as she walked home seven months ago.

Police say they cannot rule out a link between the two attacks.

They are to quiz staff and patients at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital - a five minute walk from the girl's home in the Morningside area of the city.

The hospital recently opened the controversial Orchard Clinic, home to some of Scotland's most dangerous murderers and serial sex offenders.

Det Sgt Gary Flannigan added:"It is imperative we trace this man as quickly as possible.

"We fear he poses a very real danger."

CAPTION(S):

CRIME SCENE: Det Sgt Flannigan is hunting the sex attacker
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2001
Words:262
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