A manhunt has been launched to find a sex attacker who raped a woman during the early hours of the morning in an alleyway in Braintree.

Detectives investigating the rape released an E-fit image of a man they are looking to trace in connection with the incident.

Officers were called to the area, which is located near to some flats at Riverside Place, in St John’s Avenue, Braintree, at around 4.40am on Sunday.

The victim, a woman in her 20s, is being supported by specially trained officers.

Senior Investigating Officer Det Chief Insp Stephen Jennings of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “The victim has been through a horrific ordeal and our specialist officers continue to support her.

“I would like to reassure the community that we are doing all we can to catch the individual responsible, with a team of specialist detectives working around the clock.

“I would urge people to take a look at the e-fit and if you recognise this man then please call us.

“We would also like to hear from anyone in the area at the time who may have witnessed anything or have information that could help us.”

The suspect is described as white with tanned skin, aged in his 20s, spoke with a foreign accent, was 6ft tall, is of slim build and had brown crew cut hair.

Detectives would like to hear from anyone with information about the incident or anyone who recognises the man from the E-fit image.

Anyone with information can contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.