Police are appealing for information after an 82-year-old woman was attacked and strangled with a dog lead in her own home in south-west London. The victim, Catherine Smith, was out on her mobility scooter walking her dog at the Palace Road Nature Gardens in Lambeth on 27 July when she first spotted the woman accused of attacking her.

Smith then left the gardens and headed home to Lydhurst Avenue, Streatham Hill, arriving around 1pm. Smith then spotted the suspect again sitting on a wall outside her property.

The woman approached Smith and repeatedly asked "where's Tracey?" as well as asking for money. Smith said she did not know a Tracey and walked past her to get inside her house and shut the door.

The suspect then knocked on the door to ask if she could use the toilet. When Smith refused, the suspect forced open the door, resulting in the 82-year-old falling backwards and hitting her head.

Following a brief struggle, the suspect then grabbed the victim's dog lead, wrapped it round her neck and started to strangle her before fleeing.

Smith was taken to a west London hospital with serious injuries but has since been discharged. Met Police have released images of her face as part of the appeal to find the woman responsible for the attack.

The suspect is described as a black female, about 5ft 5in tall, of slim build, with slick back black hair. She was wearing a khaki coloured coat with a zip, multi-coloured trainers and tights.

DC Vicky Vincent, the investigating officer from Lambeth CID, said: "This was a vicious unprovoked attack on an elderly, vulnerable woman at her own front door. The attack has left her very distressed.

"We believe the suspect spotted Catherine in Palace Road Nature Gardens and for unknown reasons decided to follow her home, harass her and then brutally assault her.

"We would encourage anyone with information or any witnesses to contact us as a matter of urgency so we can bring the person responsible for this heinous crime to justice."

Anyone with information or any witnesses should contact Lambeth CID on 07785774447, 101 or Tweet @MetCC.