Grampian Police are appealing for witnesses following a sexual assault which took place after Stonehaven’s famous Fireballs ceremony on Hogmanay.

The 33-year-old female victim was left shaken but uninjured after the incident which happened in a car parked near Stonehaven on January 1.

The woman was collected in a silver or grey five-door hatchback car around the town’s Allardice Street after the conclusion of the Fireballs event.

Police say the assault took place in the vehicle while it was parked on or near to the A90 northbound between Stonehaven and Portlethen between 1 and 3am .

Detective Sergeant David Howieson said: ‘‘Shortly after driving onto the A90 northbound, the vehicle was stopped and the female assaulted prior to the car continuing to Portlethen.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who was within Stonehaven following the Fireballs and who may have seen or spoken to the victim who is approximately 5ft 4in in height and of slim build with shoulder length brown hair and glasses. She was wearing a knee- length black and white skirt with a distinctive skull pattern, a black leather jacket and a pink and black scarf.

“She was seen leaving the area of Allardice Street in the company of a man described as being aged in his fifties who was wearing a red hat and a long dark coloured waterproof coat. We are extremely keen to trace this person or speak with anyone who may have seen him or the victim.

“We would like to hear from anyone who was driving on the A90 northbound between 1 and 3am on January 1 and who saw a silver or grey hatchback vehicle parked on or near to the carriageway.”

n Any information can be passed to Grampian Police on 0845 600 5700 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.