A WOMAN is still in hospital after being grabbed from behind, pushed to the floor, kicked, punched and sexually assaulted.

The 52-year-old suffered the attack on the North Ormesby flyover above Lytton Street in Middlesbrough at 6am yesterday (Saturday, June 7).

The mother sustained facial injuries, a broken shoulder and broken nose and police said she was badly traumatised, although she is now in a stable condition.

Loading article content

It has emerged that she was saved by an unnamed Good Samaritan who saw the woman being assaulted and chased the attacker off.

The hooded, violent criminal ran off over the flyover and escaped. The Good Samaritan, who was a local man, returned to check on the woman and called the police.

Speaking at the scene of the crime, about three steps down on the pedestrian walkway to the flyover, Det Sgt Jon Hagen made an appeal to the public for information.

He said: “She was on her way to work when she was attacked from behind, and was kicked and punched and pushed to the floor and sexually assaulted.

“She is badly traumatised and her children and family are extremely upset.

“Our appeal is two-fold. This is an open area and there may have been witnesses who actually saw the incident taking place. Also there may have been motorists who saw the suspect running off towards North Ormesby.”

Detective Inspector Mark Dimelow added: “This was a particularly vicious attack on a vulnerable woman who was simply walking to work. I would like to reassure the public that this kind of incident is extremely rare and that we are dedicated to identifying and arresting the offender.”

The scene was taped off on Saturday morning while forensic police officers gathered evidence. Police were still making door-to-door enquiries in the immediate are this afternoon and CCTV footage is being retrieved.

Online commentators said there had been other attacks in the area in recent months. One woman said on an online social forum: "The lady is a family friend. I am shocked and disgusted that this happened to her. She works with my mum and was simply walking to work."

Another said: "Hope she is well soon. It was my cousin who came to her aid. Hope they find this scumbag."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.