A WOMAN has been left traumatised after she was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver in her home.

The man, described as Asian, asked to use the victim's toilet when they arrived at her address in Middlesbrough.

Once inside, he subjected her to a serious sexual assault which police yesterday described as "a frightening and cowardly attack".

The woman, in her 30s, had left Stockton's Zanzibar nightclub with a female friend at about 1.45am on Sunday.

Both got into a black four-door saloon taxi to go to their respective homes in Middlesbrough. The victim was last to be dropped off.

She was wearing a beige gipsy-style top and a beige ankle-length skirt, and her friend wore white jeans and a blue halter neck top.

The taxi driver was about 35, 5ft 6in, with a slim build.

Detective Sergeant Colin Galloway, of Middlesbrough police, said: "This was a frightening and cowardly attack on this young woman that has left her upset and traumatised.

"I hope this appeal will jog people's memories back to the morning in question and in particular appeal to any taxi drivers who may have any information to come forward."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Sgt Galloway, on (01642) 303126.