POLICE believe a horse rider may have disturbed a serious sexual assault and are appealing for the person to contact them.

It happened more than three months ago near Malton, North Yorkshire, but police believe the rider, thought to be a woman, may be able to recall some key information.

She was riding in the Kirkham Priory area in Ryedale at about 7.30am on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 and disturbed the occupants of a small, white van - although she may be unaware of this.

A man is currently remanded in custody and awaiting trial for a number of serious offences, including rape, and police are anxious to speak to the horse rider who could have important information which could assist them.

Detective Sergeant John Spivey, from North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit said: “We appreciate that some time has passed since this incident happened, but we hope our appeal will prompt someone’s memory.

“It’s likely that the rider was unaware that an alleged serious crime was being committed at the time. But it is very important that we speak to them as they could have vital information which could help our investigation and I urge them to make contact as soon as possible.

“If anyone knows any riders who ride in the Kirkham Priory area, we ask you to please make them aware of this appeal.”

The horse rider, or anyone else with information, is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 01904 618691 and pass information to the force control room.