A HUNT has been launched for a man in black who subjected a woman to a serious sexual assault after she left a Southampton nightclub.

The 23-year-old victim was walking along a dual carriageway in the St Mary’s area of the city when she was assaulted in the early hours of yesterday.

Last night police refused to confirm the extent of the attack, saying they were still talking to the woman to establish exactly what happened.

Daily Echo:

Detectives spent most of yesterday carrying out house-to-house inquiries in the hope of tracing any witnesses.

The assault took place in St Andrew’s Road, which links Six Dials with the Charlotte Place roundabout and is only yards from the city’s nightclub district.

The road runs between Southampton Solent University and the Southampton Medina Mosque, which is opposite a large area of wasteland.

Detectives are likely to examine footage from CCTV cameras at the mosque in case the woman’s assailant was caught on camera.

They are also hoping to hear from anyone who was walking or driving home at the time of the incident and saw something suspicious.

People living in St Andrew’s Road spoke of their shock after learning of the incident.

Suneel Kumar, 33, who has lived in the area for about six months, said: “I was awake until 2am yesterday but didn’t see or hear anything.

“Two police officers knocked on my door at 12.15pm and said there had been a sexual assault in the street but didn’t give an exact location. I was shocked. This is normally a fairly quiet part of Southampton.”

But a man visiting his elderly mother disagreed, saying: “It’s the area. It never used to be like this.”

The attack took place between 2.30am and 3.30am.

The victim had left her friends at the Edge nightclub in Compton Walk and was walking alone when she was confronted by her assailant.

Detective Inspector Jim Park, heading the investigation, said speciallytrained officers were working with the woman to establish what happened.

He stressed that detectives were anxious to hear from anyone who was in the St Andrew’s Road area in the early hours of yesterday and heard or saw something suspicious.

The woman’s attacker is described as black. He was wearing a black cap, black gloves, tracksuit trousers and a black shirt.

Ring Southampton CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.