Police are appealing for witnesses to an attack on a woman in Alkrington Woods in Middleton.

At 6.45pm on Wednesday, August 3 a local woman, who has recently moved to the area from Birmingham, was attacked by a man while walking through Alkrington woods back to her home, after visiting Middleton Town Centre.

The man approached her from behind and put one hand over her mouth and the opposite arm around her waist. He then told her not to scream as he “had a knife”.

The woman screamed and the man ran off.

Police have released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident.

Detective Inspector Joanne Williams from Rochdale CID said: “As the victim walked through the woods, she had noticed a male stood next to the duck pond, who she believed was the same man who then approached her from behind.

“He put one hand over her mouth and the opposite arm around her waist. He told her not to scream as he 'had a knife'.

"Bravely, the victim pulled at the hand over her mouth and screamed, causing the man to run off.

“Understandably, this attack has caused considerable and understandable distress to our victim, and it is imperative officers speak to this man as soon as possible.

"Enquiries are ongoing and a review of CCTV footage in the surrounding areas has picked up this man who we need to speak to.

“We are keen for anyone who may have witnessed what happened around that time to contact us, and we would also ask if people could review any dashcam footage, to see if this has picked anything up.”

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or can identify the man in the images, is asked to call 101 quoting incident 2810 of August 3 or to contact Rochdale CID direct on 0161 856 8635 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.