Penny Lancaster has tearfully recounted a horrific incident from her childhood when she was sexually assaulted by a man on her way on school when she was just 12 years old.

The 44 year old model, who is married to rocker Rod Stewart, appeared on ITV’s chat show ‘Loose Women’ and described how a man groped her in a subway as she walked to school in Chelmsford, Essex.

Penny, who was over six feet tall as a teenager, said the offender grabbed her as she walked past and thrust his hand up her skirt. She said that she managed to fight off her attacker, who then fled the scene but was never caught by the police for his actions.

Penny LancasterPenny Lancaster made the revelation on 'Loose Women'

She broke down in tears on the ITV show as she urged her parents to be extra careful and collect their children from school. “I had a very unfortunate incident. It was a journey on the way to school and I was attacked. It was nothing about the way I looked, I could have been in a short skirt or I could have had thick tights on, it wouldn't have mattered,” she said, as she was comforted by fellow panellists Janet Street Porter, Sherrie Howson and Coleen Nolan.

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The shocking revelation as the panel discussed the school in Hartlepool that had instructed parents to ensure their daughters wore black tights of at least 40 denier with their school uniforms, in order to help with safety in public. They were also talking about whether girls needed to dress differently or whether boys needed education to be more respectful.

“I had been at choir practice the day before,” Lancaster recalled. “I was attacked under a subway. Being tall and strong I managed to fight this man off who pulled my skirt off and wrestled with me. There are a lot of evil men who prey on people and it has nothing to do with what they wear.”

“Parents are encouraged to do car pools, going in groups. But children should definitely be advised not to travel alone.”

The former ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ contestant also spoke in favour of the recently floated idea of female-only carriages on public transport. “It's very intimidating when you're in close proximity to a man or someone that wants to rub up a bit closer to you, so I think if there was a carriage, women could feel safe, then a lot more women would be encouraged to travel.”

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