Man charged after ‘schoolgirl’ incident

A man has been charged following an incident involving a girl near a Fareham school, which sparked safety concerns for young children and media coverage across many platforms late last week.

It was reported that a group of teenage girls were on their way to school when a man, who was allegedly making inappropriate comments, grabbed one of the group. Police say the incident happened in Wallisdean Avenue located between Cams Alders and Fareham Train Station, at about 8.30am on Friday morning (June 18).

The girl was not injured in the incident and a 53-year-old man from Fareham was quickly arrested after a police investigation. In a further update the male was named as Gary Michael Ruddick, of Fairfield Avenue in Fareham; who has since been charged with sexual assault, assault of an emergency worker and criminal damage.

Detective inspector Dal Andrews said in the immediate aftermath of this incident on Friday morning: “Incidents of this nature are rare but we understand this will be upsetting for the local community. Please be reassured that officers have been making enquiries in the area and have arrested a man.

“We have also been working with the school the girls attend to ensure all pupils are safeguarded and supported. Police and partners regularly work with local schools to provide resources and advice around outdoor safety for children.

“We have not received any other reports of incidents of this nature happening in the area, but if you have any concerns, or any information about the incident in question, please do not hesitate to contact us on 101 quoting 44210239141, or speak to the safeguarding officer at school if you are a parent.”

For further updates on this case and others across Gosport / Fareham boroughs, residents are encouraged to visit: Home | Hampshire Constabulary.