DETECTIVES are hunting a man who attacked a woman with a craft knife at her West Tytherley home.

The man struck as the 25-year-old was putting the key into her outdoor electricity meter near the front door. He attacked his victim from behind. She suffered a slight injury to her stomach during the assault.

Before the attacker fled the scene, the terrified woman managed to dig her fingernails into the man's hands and police believe he may well have 'deep wounds' as a result.

Immediately after Sunday's 12.30am attack, the man ran off towards West Tytherley Post Office. Police say the unnamed victim returned home a couple hours earlier after a night out at the Black Horse pub in the village.

Officers say it's possible the attacker may have been drinking in the pub and followed his victim home.

The woman was unable to give detectives a description of her assailant but police officers are hoping his injuries will lead them to him.

Scenes of crime officers went to the house straight away to gather vital clues and door-to-door enquiries are continuing.

Detectives are now asking people to be on the lookout for a man with scratch or nail marks on his hands.

Romsey's police chief said this type of attack is unusual. Inspector Peter Funnell said: "Crimes of this nature are extremely rare especially in quiet rural villages where everyone knows everyone else. If this man is a local we are hopeful of identifying him from his apparent wounds.

"Similarly, if he came from outside the village, there is every likelihood that he would have been noticed by the locals as a 'stranger' and this should again lead to someone locally coming forward with information."

Anyone with information, however small, is asked to contact Romsey police on 08450454545 or ring Southern Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.