A woman was repeatedly punched in the face by a robber who then stole her bag during a terrifying attack in Leeds city centre.
The victim, a 27-year-old woman, was attacked as she walked along the footpath near to the disused viaduct between Whitehall Road and Gotts Road at 8.40pm on Sunday, March 22.
She was punched to the head by a man who is thought to have approached her from behind, according to West Yorkshire Police.
She put her arms up to defend herself and grabbed hold of the man who then punched her again knocking her to the ground.
He grabbed at her feet and ankles and the victim kicked out and caught him in the groin.
Police say the attacker then repeatedly punched her in the face before grabbing her shoulder bag and running off towards Whitehall Road.
The victim received cuts to her face that required stitches as well as bruising to her face, arms and legs.
Detectives investigating the robbery have now released CCTV images of the man involved.
And West Yorkshire Police say they are not linking the incident with the brutal attempted murder and serious sexual assault in Beeston last month.
The attacker is described as being about 5ft 8ins tall and of slim build. He was said to be scruffy with shaggy hair with a fringe.
He was wearing a dark-coloured baggy hooded top and dark-coloured tracksuit bottoms with white stripes down the sides.
Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, Head of Crime for Leeds District, said: “The level of violence used against the victim is very concerning and it’s vitally important that we identify and arrest this man at the earliest opportunity.
“We have trawled CCTV in the area and found footage showing the man near to the Novotel and along Whitehall Road at about 6.30pm. He may have appeared to have been exercising by jogging up and down.
“We believe he was loitering in the area for a number of hours and would like to hear from anyone who saw him during that time.
“We have also included some footage which shows the man approaching a woman on the same footpath as the attack that leads to the City Island apartments about 5.30pm that day.
“We want to identify that lady as a witness and would appeal for her to contact us immediately.
“While we have seized a large amount of CCTV from the area we would encourage any premises that have not been visited to retain any footage from that date and to contact us.
“We have liaised closely with detectives that are investigating the attempted murder and serious sexual assault in Beeston and at this stage the two offences have not been linked.
“We recognise that this incident, although unrelated, will increase people’s concerns but we would like to reassure them that we are carrying out extensive enquiries to trace this man and will continue to do all we can to find him.
“Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team will be increasing patrols in the area and our advice to people is the same as it would be at any other time. People should always think carefully about their personal safety when out a night. Ideally don’t walk alone, get a bus or licensed taxi, and stick to well-lit areas.”
Anyone who recognises the man or who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 or call the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.