A woman attacked in her home fought off an intruder before fleeing to a neighbour for safety after her terrifying ordeal at the weekend. 

Police have launched appeal for witnesses after the incident in Atheron Street, Durham, at 2.25am on Saturday (April 13).

Durham Police said the intruder entered the house through an unlocked front door and attacked the woman, who was alone in her bedroom.

The woman managed to fight him off and run to a neighbour’s house for safety who then called the police.

The suspect is described as white, aged between 25 and 35, of slim build and around 5ft 4inches tall.

He had blonde hair, freckles, and light brown marks under his eyes.

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He was wearing a black long-sleeved puffer jacket, balaclava, black trousers, and dark shoes.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Smiles, who is leading the investigation, said: “This has clearly been a terrifying ordeal for the victim, who was at home alone when the man attacked her.

“While she was physically unharmed, she has been left extremely distressed by the incident.

“We are carrying out a thorough investigation into the incident and would like to speak to anyone who may have any information that could assist us.

“If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area in the early hours of Saturday morning, we would urge them to come forward as quickly as possible.

“We are treating this as an isolated incident, but would like to stress to residents the importance of locking their doors and windows during the hours of darkness.”

A 48-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident. He was interviewed by officers and has since been eliminated from enquiries and released with no further action.

Anyone with any information should call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident number 43 of April 13.

Alternatively, information can be submitted online at www.durham.police.uk