Man charged with attempted kidnap and sexual assault of eight-year-old girl in Brighton

A man has been charged with the attempted kidnap and attempted sexual assault of an eight-year-old girl who was grabbed after she posted a letter.

The girl was attacked as she turned off Gloucester Road into Tidy Street in Brighton at about 8.25am on Saturday May 5.

She was pushed to the ground but two passers-by shouted at the man and he ran off.

The girl, who had been to post a letter in nearby North Road, was severely shocked and sustained some grazes but did not need hospital treatment.

Sussex Police said detectives have charged Michael Belhawla, 24, of Auckland Drive, Brighton, with attempted kidnap and attempted sexual assault by touching.

He has been remanded in custody to appear before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday May 9.

Detective Inspector Lee Horner said: “We are still keen to trace any witnesses who may have valuable information which could assist our investigation.

“If you can help please contact us immediately on 101 or online quoting Operation Overdown.”

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