A WOMAN today told she feared she would be raped or killed after a robber tried to loosen her trousers and took off her shoe.
The 20-year-old had just got off the M2A bus in Westerhope Road in Barmston, Washington, when she was pushed to the ground.
Detectives say she put up a struggle, but her attacker – who had been drinking and smelt of whisky – hit her, leaving her with a bleeding nose and cracked ribs.
It is thought the thief, who stole the woman’s mobile phone and £10, had been hiding in nearby bushes before he struck close to the bus stop and near Barmston Village Primary at about 8.30pm on Monday.
She was left badly shaken and is still in pain from her injuries.
Her shoe was later found by police in a bush while she was able to find her own phone.
The victim said: “At the moment I’m scared to leave the house and be alone.
“The first thing I knew was when he pulled my hair from behind. I froze, but then when he started touching my trousers, instinct clicked in.
“I thought I was going to be raped or die and if I didn’t defend myself, I don’t know what he would have done.”
Officers have made visits to pubs and off licences, and are trawling through CCTV.
Detective Sergeant Graeme Flaxen, of Sunderland CID, said: “This man grabbed her, pulled her to the ground and started going through her pockets before then trying to undo her trousers.
“He’s then removed her shoe, but that has then been discarded, and it has not just come off.
“We are in touch with the woman and we are trying to get her counselling because she is really struggling with what has happened.
“If anybody witnessed this, they can speak to me in confidence. If they know a person who matches this description who was out on Monday night and think it could be them, they can talk to me.
“This is an isolated incident in this area.”
The man is described as in his late 50s or early 60s, is large in build with very short or no hair and was clean shaven.
He spoke with a Sunderland accent and had a lisp or stutter and wore dark clothing.
Anyone with information is asked to ring police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 1155 061014, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.