Cops hunt man with 'dirty fingernails' after woman picking wild mushrooms in woodlands hit in the back of the head

A WOMAN was forced to fend off an attacker after a man with "dirty fingernails" struck her in the back of the head in a secluded woodland.

The victim was crouched down picking wild mushrooms in Buckinghamshire when a man with "rough hands and tatty trainers" hit her.

In a dramatic scene, the woman in her 40s scared off the hooded attacker, screaming and swearing at him before he ran off.

She suffered injuries to her arm and ankle in the assault, which happened close to some football pitches near to the Halls Barns Estate, Beaconsfield between 2.30pm and 5pm on Tuesday.

Thames Valley Police have put out an appeal to track down the thug, but believe the attack was an isolated incident.

A spokesman said: "The offender was described as a white man who was wearing a black tracksuit and tatty old white trainers.

"He also had a black hooded top with the hood up and a face mask. The offender had rough hands with dirty fingernails and is believed to be aged in his fifties with a small build and was just under 6ft tall."

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Lucie Clarke, based at Amersham police station, said the ordeal left the victim "shaken".

"This is a concerning incident in which a woman was assaulted while she was out collecting mushrooms," she said.

"Thankfully, she was not seriously injured, although was obviously shaken by the ordeal.

"I am appealing to anybody who was in the vicinity and believe that they witnessed any suspicious activity or a man matching the description of the offender running away, to please get in touch with police.

"We are keeping an open mind as to the offender’s motive, but this appears to be an isolated incident with no other similar incident being reported.

"I would urge anybody with any information to please get in touch with police."

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