A WOMAN fought off an attacker who slashed her jacket with a knife.

The attack happened early this morning as the 24-year-old woman was using a footbridge to Victoria Street, Radcliffe.

According to the woman, she was approached by a man at 12.40am. He was dressed in black shorts and a white T-shirt and asked for a light for his cigarette.

He produced a knife, demanded cash and slashed wildly at the woman.

Detective Sergeant Duncan Heywood said: "The woman was forced to the ground and suffered a small cut to her wrist. Because she defended herself so well, the attacker ran off and she staggered to a nearby taxi firm to raise the alarm."

Police made a search of the area for the man who is described as white, chubby with long dark hair.

Det Sgt Heywood said: "This was a nasty and vicious attack. It could have been a lot worse.

"In the meantime, we would advise women to avoid being out on their own at night and avoid using back streets and other vulnerable places."

Anyone with information can contact police on 0161 856 8248.