The victim became separated from friends in east London, and was trying to get home when she was repeatedly attacked, police said

The 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted three times by different men within the space of an hour following a night out, police have said.

The alleged victim was in a vulnerable state after getting separated from friends in Tower Hamlets, east London, where they had been at a nightclub.

Police said the shocking series of attacks happened as the girl was attempting to make her way home via central London.

There is no evidence to suggest the alleged attackers were in any way linked, and the girl was simply a victim of extreme misfortune, it is understood.

However, detectives are still piecing together exactly what happened as the alleged victim recovers.

Man appeared to follow the alleged victim on his bike before attacking her.

It is believed the girl may have been drugged at some point.

The alleged ordeal began at 11.55pm on Friday, September 29 when she was first picked up on camera being carried by a man, referred to by police as Suspect 1, on Cambridge Heath Road.

Scotland Yard said the image quality of the CCTV prior to this first incident is too poor for it to be released.

The man can only be described as wearing dark clothing.

The pair are then seen appearing to go into a doorway on the same road, after which the man is not seen again on camera, but items of the top half of the girl’s clothing were later found by the location.

Shortly after midnight, another CCTV camera picks up the girl stumbling down Mint Street being followed by a different, bearded male, on a racing bicycle, referred to by police as Suspect 2.

The girl was stumbling down a street when she was followed by the man, police said These images shows the man is wearing a backwards baseball cap which has a square/rectangular emblem front centre, a hooded zip jacket which is two toned in colour with the shoulders and upper back area being darker, exposing a plain tee-shirt underneath.

He has dark trousers and a bag on his back.

Footage shows this man on a bike follows the teenager along Mint Street, and then as she turns right into Three Colts Lane and heads in the direction of Bethnal Green Overground Station.

When the next camera picks her up a short time later, the man has approached her and they have reached Corfield Street.

The CCTV indicates that he then directs the victim into an area away from the street where they remain for a period of time.

The camera then shows Suspect 2 leaving this location and walking away.

The girl, whose clothing appears dishevelled, emerges shortly afterwards and goes further down Corfield Street.

Just minutes later, at around 12:4am, detectives believe that the victim suffered a third attack, this final time possibly involving two or three men.

The CCTV captures a third, different man Suspect 3 walking down Cornfield Street and joining two other figures seen in the distance in outline shadow under some trees.

He appears to bend down towards a spot on the kerb in between some parked cars.

Detectives believe it is at this point the victim was sexually assaulted once again.

This same male is then seen at about 12:55am coming back up Cornfield Street on his own, walking towards the CCTV camera.

The clip reveals that the suspect has a distinctive gait, which gives him the appearance of walking unevenly and perhaps being slightly bow-legged.

It was only at this point that a member of the public spotted the teenager lying on the ground in Cornfield Street in a state of distress and immediately rang 999 to alert police.

Detective Inspector Suzanne Jordan said: “This is a horrific multiple sexual assault on an young female who was simply making her way home after a night out.

“We would like to thank the members of the public who intervened to help her and possibly prevented her ordeal from continuing even further.”

“We believe two of the three were very serious sexual assaults indeed, and are determined to catch the persons responsible for these hideous crimes.

“I would urge anyone who recognises either male in these images to contact us as a matter of urgency.

“We’d also like to speak to any witnesses who haven’t already come forward, or anyone with any information at all however insignificant they believe it might be – it could prove crucial to progressing our enquiries.”