DETECTIVES are hunting a sex attacker who left a 19-year-old woman injured.
Police say the incident happened as the victim walked home through Durham city centre.
She had left the Studio nightclub, walked along North Road and across Framwelgate Bridge and then down an alleyway next to the Bella Italia restaurant.
Officers said that as the woman walked down the steps to the riverside, she was approached by a man in his 30s, who spoke briefly to her before carrying out a sexual assault.
Police say the victim’s ordeal was brief as the man broke off his assault. It is believed he was possibly disturbed by the sound of someone else nearby.
The man ran off, leaving the distraught woman with bruises and a number of scratches to her face and body.
The attacker is described as being 6ft tall, of skinny build, with shaved, dark hair.
The incident happened at about 12.50am yesterday.
Detectives are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time of the assault to get in touch if they saw or heard anything suspicious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Durham CID on 0345 6060 365 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.