A 15-year-old girl who was raped in the sea in front of thousands of people has said it has left her "frightened and vulnerable".

The girl was dragged into deep water by her attacker after her ball landed near him on Bournemouth beach.

Despite the beach being packed on what was the hottest day of the year, she said she’d been powerless to act as the attacker – described as an Asian man believed to be 17 and called Dabby – raped her under the cover of water.

She said she escaped only when one of his friends approached them. But even after she ran back to her friends, the man – who had a part-shaven eyebrow – came after her and asked her how he could contact her following the incident on Sunday, July 18.

"We spent the day chilling out and sunbathing," the victim said in a moving statement read out on the BBC’s Crimewatch Live.

"It was around 4pm when we went into the water where my friends and I had a ball we were playing with.

"One throw and it landed near next to a man, or a boy. I asked, 'Can you give me the ball back?' and he said 'No'.

"I came closer to him and asked again – he gave it to me and I threw it to my friend.

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"He started talking to me and touching my arm – at the same time, another man was making my friend uncomfortable so she left the sea.

"I was alone now and he started to push me out into deep water and I couldn't feel my feet on the sea floor. It was then he started touching me. No one could see what was happening and it was then that he raped me."

She added: "I was in tears. I told my friend what had happened and I was really hurting so I went to the toilet. Then the guy came up to me again and was asking how to contact me.

"Eventually my friend made him go away and that was the last I saw of him.

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"Since it happened, I've changed a lot – I can't face going out and I feel frightened and vulnerable. I am so scared that people will judge me for what has happened. I didn't ask for this – I tried to stop him but I couldn’t."

The rapist is described as being tanned and between 5ft and 5ft 7in. He was thin but muscular and was wearing black or grey swimming shorts.

Det Insp Wayne Seymour said: "He had dark hair swept back, an earring in his left ear and his eyebrow was slit.

"He told the victim his name was Dabby, he was 17 years old and from Birmingham."

Det Insp Seymour added: "I would repeat our previous plea for anyone who exchanged Snapchat messages with a number of young Asian men who were reported to be approaching female beachgoers on the date of the incident to come forward.

"Even if it is just a seemingly small bit of information, it might assist us with piecing together the evidence in this case and tracking down the culprit.

"We do have forensic evidence that means we will be able to eliminate anyone who was not involved from our enquiries."

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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