Woman grabbed from behind and threatened with ‘knife’ in Middleton woods attack

Police say the woman had only just moved to the area when she was set upon in Alkrington woods.

Police are hunting a man who grabbed a woman from behind as she walked alone in woods in Greater Manchester.

The woman, who has only just moved north from Birmingham, had been walking through Alkrington woods back to her home, after visiting Middleton town centre.

The man grabbed her and claimed to have a knife but she bravely screamed for help.

The attack happened at 6.45pm on Wednesday 3 August.

DI 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.

Police issued this CCTV of a man they want to speak to about an attack in Middleton Credit: GMP

“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 male in the images, is asked to call 101 quoting incident 2810 of the 3 August or to contact Rochdale CID direct on 0161 856 8635 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.