Man charged over Brighton Kidnap attempt

Detectives investigating the attempted abduction of a girl in Brighton have charged a man with attempted kidnap and attempted sexual assault by touching.

The Crown Prosecution Service have authorised the charges on Michael Belhawla, 24, of Auckland Drive, Brighton, and he has been remanded to appear before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (9 May).

The eight-year-old girl was walking along Gloucester Road at about 8.25am on Saturday (5 May) having been to post a letter at a letter box in nearby North Road. She was grabbed by a man just as she turned into Tidy Street and pushed to the ground but this was seen by two passers-by who shouted at him and he ran off. The girl was severely shocked and sustained some grazes but did not need hospital treatment.

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.”