A teenage girl is in a state of shock after a stranger accosted and tried to kiss her in Braintree High Street.

The incident took place in the busy road, near to Costa Coffee, whilst she was on a break from work on Saturday afternoon between 12noon and 1pm.

The teenager managed to get away from the man inside the coffee shop, where the police were called.

Her mother, Mouette Shields, said: “She is only young and this man was in his 40s and it was very frightening for her.

“My daughter Ivy is in shock and has been off school because of it.

“She is already dealing with the death of a close loved one and is trying to study for her A-levels at the moment.”

Mrs Shields is appealing for any witnesses who were in the high street at the time to come forward, in the hopes of identifying the man responsible.

“Apparently he has bothered my daughter several times before,” she said.

“On Saturday first he made comments to her. He said she was beautiful, walked towards her, grabbed her arm and tried to kiss her on the lips.

“She is very shaken up by it and it was bothering her that nobody seemed to do anything at the time. She was screaming for help.

“Maybe people did not know what was going on.”

A man was arrested on suspicion of common assault and possession of an offensive weapon after being found with a small axe and a knife in High Street, Braintree, however he was later released without charge and police do not believe he was connected with the accosting.

An Essex Police spokesman confirmed enquiries were ongoing and they are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen anything.

The spokesman said: "Anyone with information is asked to contact Braintree police station on 101 quoting incident 464 of 03/03 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."