AN ELDERLY woman was left needing stitches to her face after being attacked as she made her way home late at night.

Anne Anstey, 75, was walking home after a night out in Durham City when she was jumped from behind in Meadowfield, on Arundel Way, at about 11.30pm on Saturday night (June 14).

Mrs Anstey was grabbed from behind, thrown to the ground and punched in the face by a man who also stole her beige coloured cotton handbag, which contained a purse, a Samsung mobile phone and a small amount of cash.

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She suffered facial injuries, was taken to hospital and needed stitches, although she is now recovering at home.

Police say incidents of this type are extremely rare in Durham and are appealing for information to help their investigation.

PC Sarah Douglas, from Durham City CID at Durham Constabulary, said: “This was clearly an extremely distressing incident for Anne, who was left very shaken following the attack.

“Fortunately she was able to make her way to a neighbour’s house to raise the alarm.

“She was left with injuries to her face which required stitching and is now recovering at home.

“Clearly we are very eager to trace the suspect and would appeal for anyone with information that might assist us with our investigation to come forward as soon as possible.

“I would like to reassure the public that this type of incident is extremely rare in Durham and is being treated as an isolated occurrence.”

The attacker is described as a white man aged between 20 and 35-years-old, approximately 5’8” to 5’9” tall and wearing a sky blue long-sleeved top and jeans. He spoke with a local accent.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area around the time of the attack or saw anyone in the area matching the description of the attacker is asked to call PC Douglas on the non-emergency number, 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.