POLICE are hunting a man who sexually assaulted a student as she walked home from a night out in Southampton.

The 19-year-old was walking alone, having been separated from her group, along Canute Road near the junction of Royal Crescent when the attack happened.

She told police how she noticed a red Transit van parked on the side of the road with two men in it, who appeared to be calling out to a group of girls in front of her.

As she moved quickly past the vehicle, both men got out of the van before one grabbed her, pushed her up against a wall and sexually assaulted her.

She managed to fight off the man and run back home to raise the alarm.

Officers from Shirley CID are appealing for anyone with information about the assault, which happened at about 2.20am on Tuesday.

Det Sgt Andy Lupton said: "This was an appalling attack on a lone female late at night. Police are anxious to identify those two men quickly so they can be arrested and charged as soon as possible.

"We are particularly keen to speak to a group of females who were walking ahead of the victim and might have some vital information that could help with our inquiries."

Both men were described as having an eastern European accent and were aged in their 20s.

The man who carried out the assault was about 5ft 10in with green or blue bulging eyes, short, dark hair. He wore a black hooded top, dark jeans and white trainers. The other man was of larger build with longer hair.

Anyone with information should call Det Sgt Lupton on 0845 045 4545.