THE victim of a sex offence on a late-night train has spoken out to raise awareness and find the culprit.

The woman was travelling back to Basingstoke on Saturday with a friend after a day out at the beach in Bournemouth.

The pair, both from Chineham and aged in their early 20s, were sat in the rear carriage with a man for the majority of the journey.

But at around 10.10pm, the women turned to find him masturbating just yards from them.

One of the victims said: "I saw [my friend] duck her head in complete shock, I looked over and he had his penis out and was masturbating, evidently watching us as he did so. Disgusted, shocked, we got up and paced the length of the train, straight through to first class, desperate to locate a guard.

"We hardly knew what to think, [my friend] looked like she was going to throw up and neither of us knew this was a matter for 999."

The pair found a member of staff which South Western Railway says was a guard though the victims believe not as they say she radioed to find a guard, and the trio eventually found the man leaving a toilet as the train arrived in Basingstoke.

Keen to escape the situation, the victims left, reporting the incident to the police around an hour later.

A SWR spokesman said the guard found an off-duty police officer on the train who, with the individual involved, left the train at Basingstoke. However, British Transport Police (BTP) has said no arrest has been made.

A BTP spokesman urged any witnesses to text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40, quoting the reference 1800047037.

A spokesman said: "No one should ever be subjected to this type of behaviour at stations or on trains and we would encourage anyone who is a victim, or who witnesses such behaviour, to report offences to us."

The victims described the man as in his 20s or 30s, with very short light brown hair and light facial hair. He wore a T-shirt under a black body warmer.

As well as hoping to find the culprit, the victim wants to raise awareness of what people should do in such situations, particularly as her friend has been severely shaken by the experience.

She added: "I was told [by BTP] I should have gotten in contact sooner so that they could have intercepted him. This I now know and there are many things we both wish we had done, but we had no idea how to react, it was revolting.

"That man got away and I can’t help but feel partly responsible. I want to know every measure will be taken to catch him, and I want to ensure others like us will know what to do, should they ever be in this situation."