Police cordon
Police cordonReuters

Police have launched a manhunt after a young woman was ambushed and sexually assaulted while jogging on a rural bridleway in a "stranger attack."

The victim, who is in her 20's, was running close to her home on the path near to the busy A34 in Drayton, near Abingdon in Oxfordshire around dusk on Thursday (4 September).

She was pulled to the ground by the man and raped.

Detectives hunting for the man have said the matter is being treated very seriously.

Superintendent Andy Boyd, of Thames Valley Police, said that the woman was approached by a man, who pulled her to the ground and raped her.

"This is an ongoing investigation and something we are taking extremely seriously. Our priority is looking after the victim and working with her to see if we can identify the offender as quickly as we can.

"We have additional police resources deployed in the area providing high visibility for the public until this man is caught."

Laura Hughes, who lives opposite the rape scene, said: "It is sickening really. I have a four-year-old daughter and it is just awful to think that it happened so close by. I wish I had heard something but I didn't because I was on the phone.

"Everyone uses that lane all the time for dog-walking and running. It was only early evening and still daylight. You don't think of things like this happening so early.

Since the attack police have been carrying out house-to-house inquiries and have used a police helicopter in the search for clues to the attack.

Detective Inspector Louise Roddy, leading the investigation, said: "If anyone saw or heard anything at all in the Drayton area last night which could help us with this investigation, no matter how insignificant they may think the information is, please contact us immediately."