A police hunt has been launched after a woman was the victim of a serious sex attack in a Hampshire alley.

The woman was grabbed as she walked through the alley and forced into the garden of a derelict building.

The victim then lost consciousness and suffered bruising and cuts to her face during the incident.

She is currently in hospital receiving treatment.

The attack happened between 2.30pm and 7.45pm on Monday when the woman, aged in her 40s, was walking through a covered alleyway which runs through Winton Court in the Heath Vale area of Andover.

The area of Heath Vale has been cordoned off to allow specialist officers to conduct their enquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Murray, said: “This was a serious, unprovoked attack on a lone woman. The victim is conscious in hospital and is being treated for her injuries. “She has also been left extremely distressed by what has happened to her.

“I am appealing for anyone with any information that could help our inquiry to get in touch as soon as possible.

“We need to hear from anyone who was in the Heath Vale area between 2.30pm and 7.45pm on Monday who may have seen anything unusual. Did you see anyone hanging around the area? Did you see or hear anything that could be related to this attack?

“As always I would urge members of the community to be vigilant when out walking alone and to report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.”

Anyone with any information should contact Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team at Andover police station quoting Operation Weavers on 101 or call Crimestoppers, the charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.