A WOMAN in her 20s was sexually assaulted after a boy slapped her thigh and ripped her clothing while another tried to steal her phone and take her handbag.

The victim was approached by two teenagers on bicycles in Katesgrove Lane, Reading outside the Hook and Tackle pub by the underpass, between 7.30pm and 7.40pm on Thursday, September 12.

Both of the boys had their faces covered.

One of the boys lifted the woman's skirt, slapped her thigh and ripped her clothing and she was left with scratches and bruising.

As she crossed the road, a second boy attempted to take her phone out of her hand and take her bag.

Members of the public were alerted to the incident when the woman shouted for help and the boys left the scene on their bikes.

The first offender is described as white, between 5ft 3ins and 5ft 8ins tall and aged between 14 and 16-years-old with a slim build.

His face was covered with a scarf which was black with white patterns, and he was wearing dark clothing, possibly a tracksuit with a hooded jumper. He was on a dark coloured bike.

The second boy was of mixed race with olive skin, approximately 5ft 3ins to 5ft 8ins tall and also aged between 14 and 16-years-old.

He was also wearing dark clothing with a hooded top covering his face. He was also on a dark coloured bike.

No property was stolen from the victim, who suffered scratches and bruising to her thigh. She did not require hospital treatment.

Designated Investigator Zoe Purnell, based at Reading police station, said: "This was a frightening incident for the victim, but thankfully nothing was stolen from her and she was not seriously injured.

"I am appealing to anybody who was in the area at the time of the offence who believes that they may have witnessed anything, to contact the 24-hour non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 43190282834.

"Alternatively, you can make a report online, or call the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

"Similarly, if anybody was driving in the area at the time and has dash-cam, I am asking you to please check this as it may have captured evidence that is vital to this investigation."