A woman was “brutally beaten” with a stick in an unprovoked attack in Chorley.

The 46-year-old was walking her three Staffordshire terrier dogs close to the M61 motorway underpass on Bagganley Lane at around 7.45pm on Sunday when the attack happened.

Police said the woman was approached by a man who was also walking a Staffordshire type dog, he complained to her that one of her pets was not on a lead, then swore and verbally abused her.

A short time later the man set his dog on the woman’s pets and when she tried to separate them she was knocked to the floor and repeatedly struck on the head and body by the man.

Police describe the weapon he used as a “shaped, smooth stick”, possibly a walking stick.

The woman, who lives nearby, sustained cuts and swelling to her head and cuts and grazes on her right arm.

Police say she was left “badly shaken and distressed”.

PC Pete Simmons from Chorley police, said: “The assault was completely unprovoked, sustained and violent.

“We would like anyone who thinks they know who this man may be to contact us.”

The suspect is described as around 30, 5ft 10in, with a slim, athletic build with short brown hair gelled to spikes at the front, there were possibly bits of grey in his hair.

He was wearing a v-neck white T-shirt with markings on the front, skinny jeans and Doc-Marten shoes and was noticeably tattooed on both arms.

Anyone with information is asked to call Chorley police on 01257 246225.