A 22-year-old woman was bound up and brutally raped after being dragged into woodland by a savage attacker.

The victim was pounced on as she walked her small dog through Billinge Woods between 10.30am and 2pm yesterday.

She was ordered to strip and had her hands tied behind her back before she was raped and subjected to a series of serious sexual assaults during a one-and-a-half hour ordeal.

The victim, who was walking along a path off Killard Lane near Billinge Nook Farm, is still too traumatised to talk to detectives about the attack.

She was discovered in an hysterical condition by two passers-by after she was abandoned by her attacker.

He warned her he had a knife and threatened her throughout her ordeal as well as biting her on her breast and neck.

She told police the man had subble on his face and had a slight smell of aftershave.

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Langdon today described the attack as the worst he had seen in 20 years. Police were today at the scene searching for items of the woman's clothing.

The rapist is described as in his late 30s to early 40s, 5ft 9 to 6ft tall, with a stocky build and a slight beer belly.

He has brown, greying hair, possibly parted on one side, and a round plumpish face.

The attacker, who also stripped during the attack, was wearing an old pair of faded blue jeans or light grey tracksuit bottoms, a bright pink tee-shirt with a round neck and a dark blue sweatshirt top.

Police said that during the attack the man told his victim he was wearing ladies underwear and there was a suggestion he may have been undergoing hormone treatment.

They said he told his victim he had committed a similar offence in Witton Park, Blackburn, six months ago.

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