DETECTIVES investigating a serious sex attack on a 54-year-old mother in Middlesbrough at the weekend said they were "encouraged" by calls from the public after an appeal for information.

A 52-year-old mother has undergone surgery after suffering facial injuries, broken shoulder and broken nose during the attack, on the A66 North Ormesby flyover near Lytton Street at 6am on Saturday (June 7).

As she walked to work she was grabbed from behind, pushed to the floor, kicked, punched and sexually assaulted.

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She remains in a stable condition at James Cook University Hospital but is said to be badly traumatised. Officers investigating the assault were visiting her again today (MON).

The inquiry team at Cleveland Police has received about a dozen calls since the initial appeal and they say several positive lines of inquiry have come out of these calls.

Detective Inspector Mark Dimelow said: "We are hugely encouraged by some of the information which has come in from the public. The community has understandably been shocked and upset by what happened to a woman who was simply walking to work and we are grateful for their support.

"Again, I would ask that anyone who has not yet come forward with information to get in touch. People driving along the A66 or perhaps out early walking their dogs may have seen this man in the area before the attack or indeed, fleeing the scene and running towards North Ormesby just after 6am."

The woman was saved by a Good Samaritan who saw the woman being assaulted and chased the attacker off.

Anyone with information can contact Cleveland Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.