A WOMAN was kicked as she lay on the ground during an attempted robbery.

The 24-year-old woman was attacked as she walked through Chester-le-Street on Friday evening.

The victim, from Pelaw, was walking in the Viador area of the town at about 6pm when she was approached by three men.

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One grabbed her handbag and tried to snatch it from her grasp. During the struggle, she fell to the ground where the attacker threatened her, before kicking her in the stomach.

She bravely held onto her bag and her attacker fled empty-handed.

Police have issued a description of the suspect, who was white, about 6ft 2ins tall, of stocky build, about 24 years of age, with a local accent and deep voice.

He was wearing a dark hooded top, with the hood pulled over his head and a scarf wrapped around his face. He was also wearing dark tracksuit bottoms, trainers and waterproof jacket.

Both of his accomplices also wore dark hooded tops with the hoods pulled up. One was 5ft 6ins tall, of slim build, aged about 19, wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and Nike training shoes, while the other was 5ft 9ins tall, of medium build, aged 20 to 25 years of age, wearing dark-coloured jeans.

Detective Sergeant Joanne Long said the victim had walked along Front Street and turned left at the traffic lights before walking towards the Tesco store. She had walked up the bank towards the Viador area where the men approached from the direction of Pelaw.

She added that the victim had not required hospital treatment but was left badly shaken.

Anyone with information is asked to ring Durham City CID on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.