A 40-YEAR-old woman was grabbed by a man who tried to pull her into bushes close to the River Calder.

Detectives said Thursday’s incident was ‘terrifying’ for the victim and believe there may have been a ‘sexual motive’.

It happened at around 5.30pm as the local woman was walking alone along the footpath leading from Southfield Street to St Georges Road in Nelson.

As she got close to the footbridge over the river, the man took hold of her arm but she managed to escape and ran across the bridge.

The offender caught up with her and pushed her to the ground where she was assaulted.

The woman managed to kick out and struggled free before her attacker fled towards Southfield Street.

DS Mick Cross from East Division CID said: “This was a terrifying assault on a woman who was out walking on her own.

“We believe there may be a sexual motive to this and are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time that may have witnessed the incident or saw a man loitering or running away from the area to contact us.”

The offender was an Asian man in his late 20s or early 30s. He was 5ft 6ins and of medium build.

It  is believed he was wearing a blue tracksuit top with a hood up and matching blue bottoms.

Anyone with information can call police on 101 quoting reference number 999 of June 5 2014.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.