A TOWN mayor has spoken of his shock after a teenage woman was raped in an alleyway in the early hours of the morning.

The young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was attacked after being approached by an unknown man but was able to stab him in self-defence – likely causing a serious wound.

Officers appealed for help to catch the man, who struck at around 3am in Colford Walk, between Trent Close and Worcester Road, Droitwich.

Councillor Shaun Best, the mayor of Droitwich, said: "This is unusual, we are one of the safest places in Worcestershire to live and obviously everyone on the council and I hope most of the people of Droitwich would join me in condemning this incident.

“I could have understood maybe if it was the town centre but up there it does come down as a shock.”

Detectives say they believe the woman grabbed a sharp object and stabbed the man in the side, back or abdomen as she defended herself.

Much of the narrow alleyway, next to the BP Marks & Spencer garage, is overgrown but does back onto several gardens. It’s used by dogwalkers throughout the day and takes more than five minutes to walk the length of it.

Pam Richardson, 77, of Falstaff Drive, speaking on Tuesday morning opposite the alleyway, said she saw two police cars and a cordon at the Worcester Road side of the alleyway on Sunday.

“That’s most unusual for Droitwich,” she said of the attack. "It’s really quite worrying. It’s usually a pretty quiet place. The other side of town, around Westlands, you often here things but not this side of town. When I saw the police, I thought it was a break in at the garage. That’s happened before.”

Mrs Richardson, who has lived in the town since 1995, said she wouldn’t feel safe walking up the alleyway alone after hearing about the attack.

An 18-year-old man, who lives in the town but did not wish to be named, said: “It is quite a shock to hear about that. It’s very dark down there at night. It’s known for being a bit dodgy. I wouldn’t go down there alone that late.”

He said people often use it as a cut-through after nights out or after getting off the bus next to the Red Lion pub on Worcester Road.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Tonks said: "This was a terrifying incident for this young woman and one that has caused concern in the local community.

"It is important we catch this man as soon as possible and I'd urge anyone who witnessed anyone acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the incident or who has any information that could help with our enquiries to get in touch.

"The victim fought the man off and in the process, we suspect he has suffered a stab wound to his side, back or abdomen.”

DCI Tonks said it is possible the man then sought medical attention for his wounds or attempted to treat them himself at home.

“Do you know someone who suffered a stab wound over the weekend? If so, we would l like to hear from you,” he continued.

"We are thoroughly investigating this incident and specially trained officers are supporting the victim.

"The support of the public will be key to helping us catch the offender and any information no matter how small could be vital."

Anyone with information can call 101 and quote incident 788s of May 5.

Alternatively, information can be passed on anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by going to crimestoppers-uk.org.