Beeston Road, Leeds
A woman was raped and left for dead at Beeston Road, LeedsGoogle Maps

West Yorkshire Police have said a brutal rape in Leeds that left the victim "lucky to be alive" was not racially motivated.

The 18-year-old Asian woman was set upon at a bus stop near Malvern Road and Beeston Road at approximately 10.40pm on Friday (6 March).

She was found with a head injury and was taken to hospital, where it was discovered she had also suffered serious hip injuries.

Police launched a huge operation and have stepped up patrols in the area to reassure a "shocked" local community.

Detective chief inspector Elizabeth Belton has since moved to rule out the attack was motivated by racism.

"This is a crime that has shocked the local community. We carried out an information seek last night in the area and people told us how disgusted they were at what happened.

"I also want to put an end to unhelpful speculation that this was a racially motivated attack - the victim in this was Asian, as is the person we want to speak in connection with the incident. This was not racially motivated."

Police believe the suspect - described as an Asian man, in his early twenties, of slim build with receding dark hair - could have had blood on his clothes and hands when he fled the scene and are appealing to the public to help trace him.

Investigators also want to speak to a woman who they believe was waiting to get a bus.

"Firstly we want to speak to a lady who had been standing at the bus stop where the incident happened before getting on to a bus - we think either the number 1 or number 74 bus," Belton added.

"We also want to speak to man seen running around the Beeston area on Friday night. We also want to hear from anyone who saw a man matching the description already issued who was acting suspiciously. We think the man has been in the area for some time before the incident and may have attracted attention.

"I would also appeal to anyone who saw a man with blood on his shirt in the area that night. I would encourage people to think - was there something out of place - or did someone come home with blood on their shirt? This is no time for family loyalty - this was an horrific incident and the victim is lucky to be alive."

Anyone who saw a man of similar description in this area at around the time stated is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.