UK & World News
Ninety-Year-Old Dragged Off Street And Raped
Police in Rochdale have launched an investigation after a 90-year-old woman was attacked in the street and raped.
The woman was attacked as she walked to a butchers in†Spotland Road around 6.45am on Tuesday to buy a bacon sandwich.
She had a £1 coin in one hand and a walking stick in the other.
A hand was placed over her mouth from behind and she was dragged backwards before she lost consciousness.
When she came round she found she had been pulled to the ground and raped.
She managed to pick herself up and walked to the butchers to raise the alarm and the staff called the police.
Superintendent Alistair Mallen, of Greater Manchester Police, said the victim was "really upset, distressed and traumatised".
Looking straight into the camera, he told Sky News: "What I'd say to that individual - and if he's watching me now - get yourself to a police station and explain your actions.
"If you don't, I'll tell you now, we will be knocking at your door in the next 24 hours."
He said earlier: "I am sure the entire community will share our revulsion at this.
"The victim has been through an horrific ordeal and we are all hoping she can make a full recovery.
"She is now being supported by experienced officers and we are doing everything possible to reassure her that we will catch the man responsible.
"This kind of attack is thankfully so rare that it will naturally cause a huge amount of concern in the community.
"I now want people, including the criminal fraternity, to imagine if that had been your mum or grandma. I want to harness these feelings and use them to help the police do their job - catch this man and put him before the courts.
"It may not have struck you as significant at the time, but please, if you saw anything or anyone that you think could be relevant then please call the police."
Police want to hear from people who saw the victim - and potentially her attacker - on Tuesday morning.
The victim is white and was wearing a white summer dress with a flower print and a cardigan.
The attacker is described as a white male but no other details were available.
Sky's Frazer†Maude, in Rochdale, said: "Police will be scouring CCTV images and they say they also have forensic evidence."
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said there was "a real sense of shock and horror" in the community over the attack, and urged anyone with information to search their conscience and help police "catch this sick individual".
"Local people are struggling to comprehend how anyone can do this. Our heart goes out to this poor woman. She must have gone through hell," he said.
"Anyone with even a glimmer of suspicion should contact the police immediately."
:: Anyone with information is asked to call police in Rochdale on 0161 856 8470/8420 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.