On Saturday, February 25, police were called over an incident in Hampden Park, Eastbourne, where a 63-year-old woman was approached by a man not known to her as she walked her dog near the perimeter footpath near Decoy Drive. The man, later identified as Lewis Wood, 28, of no fixed address, was initially arrested on suspicion of assault on the same day at Dean Road in Eastbourne.
After further investigation, detectives charged Wood with intentional strangulation, contrary to section 75(A) of the Serious Crime Act 2015, and with committing an offence with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence under section 62 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Wood appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on February 27 and was remanded in custody to appear before Lewes Crown Court on March 27.
The victim of the incident has been receiving support from specially-trained officers, and Sussex Police is appealing for any witnesses who may have been in the park and seen anything suspicious to come forward. This was an isolated incident, and officers have been carrying out increased high-visibility patrols in the area to provide reassurance.
Anyone with information can report it to Sussex Police online, quoting serial 715 of 25/02. Support and advice for those affected by incidents of violence against women and girls is available on the Sussex Police website.