A WOMAN has fought off an attacker who tried to grab her handbag.

The 51-year-old woman was walking along Highfield Lane, in Southampton, when she was approached from behind by a man who attempted to rob her.

He grabbed the strap of the lady's handbag and tried to pull the bag away from her.

Even though the strap of the handbag was pulled against her neck and the man shouted at her to give it to him, the victim, who is from Southampton, refused to let go.

She ended up on the ground and the man ran off through the grounds of Highfield Church and onto Church Lane.

Nothing was taken, but the woman had cuts and bruises to her elbow, knee, hip and neck.

The attacker was described as slim, wearing a zipped-up black hooded jumper and dark grey ankle high plimsolls.

The victim, who did not get a good look at the man, said he sounded around 20-years-old.

Police believe several vehicles drove past as the attempted robbery was taking place, at around 6.30am on Monday evening.

Police are investigating the failed robbery attempt, which happened at the junction of Brookvale Road and Highfield Lane.

Witnesses to the incident or who may have seen the man run off afterwards are asked to call PC Swainston at Bitterne CID on 101 or give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.