OFFICERS investigating a sex attack on a pensioner in her home hope forensic tests will lead them to the culprit.

The 78-year-old, from Westlea, in Seaham, County Durham, woke at 2am on Saturday to find a man standing over her bed.

He pulled back the covers and subjected her to an indecent assault lasting up to half an hour.

Police investigating the incident, which they have described as "appalling and incomprehensible", believe the woman may have been stalked by her attacker before he broke in to her house.

Clothing and swabs taken from the scene have been sent for forensic examination in the hope that DNA evidence will be found.

A police spokeswoman said: "Inquiries are still progressing and we are waiting for the results of forensic tests."

The attacker was dressed in black, aged between 20 and 25, and had a black bobble cap pulled down over his eyebrows.

He smelled of alcohol but was not thought by the victim to be drunk.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 0191-386 4929.