A burglary victim was left in hospital after their arm was broken in a horrifying hammer attack.
Police are appealing for witnesses after the aggravated burglary incident in Rowan Avenue, Harraton, Washington.
Officers say man wearing a balaclava broke into a property in the street armed with a hammer at about 6.20am this morning.
He assaulted the occupant who suffered a broken arm and is in hospital receiving treatment.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Enquiries are ongoing and officers are appealing for anyone who was in the Rowan Avenue area this morning and who might have seen anything suspicious to contact them.
"It is believed that the occupant and the attacker may be known to each other."
Anyone with any information into the incident is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 268 30/01/16.