A woman was grabbed in a field and raped by a man in Halstead.

Detectives are appealing for information following the stranger attack.

The victim, aged in her 20s, was walking across the field near Windmill Road at about 2pm on Tuesday when she became aware of a man walking closely behind her.

She tried to get away and struggled against him but was unable to flee and was raped.

The victim reported the offence to a third party and police were informed at 10.05pm on Wednesday. A description of the attacker has been issued.

Detectives are searching for a white man aged in his mid 20s who is skinny and about 6ft tall.

He was wearing a black hooded top, which was up, and black tracksuit bottoms.

The victim is being supported by specially trained officers while forensic experts examine the scene for evidence and clues as to his identity.

Det Insp Stuart Truss said: “The woman has been subjected to a horrific and frightening ordeal and we are doing everything we can to find the person responsible.

“We are currently making extensive enquiries in the area into this serious offence, including visiting homes in the vicinity, taking witness statements and establishing CCTV opportunities.

“I understand the community will be concerned and when more information comes to light, we will update you. At this stage the incident is being treated as an isolated investigation.

“We urge anyone with information to contact the Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate on 101 quoting incident 1179 of 11/04.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who may have been driving in the area with dashcam or CCTV footage between 1pm and 3pm.

“Alternatively, you can call or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”